This site uses cookies. By accepting cookies you can optimise your browsing experience. Read more.
02:53

Italy: Boy, 11, released from IS captivity reunited with family in Rome

Italy, Rome
November 08, 2019 at 19:27 GMT +00:00 · Published

Eleven-year-old Alvin was reunited with his father and two sisters at Rome Fiumicino airport on Friday after his now-deceased mother took him to Syria to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) as a foreign fighter five years ago.

"The investigation activity started when the father came to us and let us know that the mother had taken the child away with her and went into a war zone in alliance with the ISIS," said Anti-terrorism Department Commander Marco Rosi, who could not give an exact date of the mother's death.

Rossi stated that Alvin Berisha's name had been changed to Yusuf during his time under IS and his mother was "trying to make him forget his past in Italy and in the western world."

The Italian-born boy of Albanian heritage was taken on Wednesday from al-Hol detention camp in north-eastern Syria, where he was held alone after his mother reportedly died in a bomb attack. Alvin was escorted by the Red Crescent from Qamishli to Damascus and was returned home to father Afrim Berisha, who sparked the international investigation by alerting police.

"Dialogue was guaranteed by the Syrian Red Crescent: thanks to the Syrian Red Crescent, its Kurdish volunteers and its presence it made it possible that everything went fine in the end," explained President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies Francesco Rocca.

Alvin is now walking with a limp after an injury from a bombing while he was travelling with his mother and he has forgotten Italian, speaking only Arabic and some Albanian.

The boy was held in al-Hol detention camp in north-eastern Syria with 70,000 other people and his rescue relied on many parties cooperating as it was difficult to locate him. He lived near the northern Italian city of Lecco with his family.

02:53
No Account? Sign up!
Description

Eleven-year-old Alvin was reunited with his father and two sisters at Rome Fiumicino airport on Friday after his now-deceased mother took him to Syria to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) as a foreign fighter five years ago.

"The investigation activity started when the father came to us and let us know that the mother had taken the child away with her and went into a war zone in alliance with the ISIS," said Anti-terrorism Department Commander Marco Rosi, who could not give an exact date of the mother's death.

Rossi stated that Alvin Berisha's name had been changed to Yusuf during his time under IS and his mother was "trying to make him forget his past in Italy and in the western world."

The Italian-born boy of Albanian heritage was taken on Wednesday from al-Hol detention camp in north-eastern Syria, where he was held alone after his mother reportedly died in a bomb attack. Alvin was escorted by the Red Crescent from Qamishli to Damascus and was returned home to father Afrim Berisha, who sparked the international investigation by alerting police.

"Dialogue was guaranteed by the Syrian Red Crescent: thanks to the Syrian Red Crescent, its Kurdish volunteers and its presence it made it possible that everything went fine in the end," explained President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies Francesco Rocca.

Alvin is now walking with a limp after an injury from a bombing while he was travelling with his mother and he has forgotten Italian, speaking only Arabic and some Albanian.

The boy was held in al-Hol detention camp in north-eastern Syria with 70,000 other people and his rescue relied on many parties cooperating as it was difficult to locate him. He lived near the northern Italian city of Lecco with his family.

Video Feed
Providing you with the best in breaking news, politics, science, sports, tech, viral and entertainment content
All latest videos
Spain: Hundreds of protesters hit Barcelona following election deadlock
02:05
Spain: Hundreds of protesters hit Barcelona following election deadlock
November 12 at 04:28 GMT +00:00
USA: Supporters of former Bolivian President Morales protest in New York
02:21
USA: Supporters of former Bolivian President Morales protest in New York
November 12 at 03:21 GMT +00:00
Venezuela: Morales supporters rally in Caracas to 'fight' for former Bolivian leader
02:30
Venezuela: Morales supporters rally in Caracas to 'fight' for former Bolivian leader
November 12 at 02:14 GMT +00:00
Brazil: Brasilia prepares to host 11th BRICS Summit
03:53
Brazil: Brasilia prepares to host 11th BRICS Summit
November 12 at 01:53 GMT +00:00
Spain: Hundreds of Antifa protesters march in memory of 16yo stabbed by neo-Nazi
02:27
Spain: Hundreds of Antifa protesters march in memory of 16yo stabbed by neo-Nazi
November 12 at 00:44 GMT +00:00
Argentina: Hundreds protest Morales's resignation in Buenos Aires
02:14
Argentina: Hundreds protest Morales's resignation in Buenos Aires
November 11 at 23:40 GMT +00:00
Space: Mercury makes rare transit across the SunPool for subscribers only
00:48
Space: Mercury makes rare transit across the Sun
November 11 at 23:23 GMT +00:00
Ireland: Eamonn Harrison appears in Dublin court over Essex lorry deaths
01:00
Ireland: Eamonn Harrison appears in Dublin court over Essex lorry deaths
November 11 at 22:54 GMT +00:00
Bolivia: Interim leader Anez calls for elections
01:50
Bolivia: Interim leader Anez calls for elections
November 11 at 22:34 GMT +00:00
Mexico: Morales requested asylum and is granted it - Mexican FMPool for subscribers only
02:05
Mexico: Morales requested asylum and is granted it - Mexican FM
November 11 at 22:16 GMT +00:00
Italy: Merkel and Conte talk Brexit, migration and future of EUPool for subscribers only
04:37
Italy: Merkel and Conte talk Brexit, migration and future of EU
November 11 at 21:46 GMT +00:00
Indian miracle-seekers flock to Mahua 'healing tree' in hope of cure
03:59
Indian miracle-seekers flock to Mahua 'healing tree' in hope of cure
November 11 at 21:38 GMT +00:00
All latest videos
BREAKING: Israel kills leader of Islamic Jihad Baha Abu al-Ata in Gaza - IDF