A Gambian man detained by anti-terror police in Italy had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) and was planning to use a vehicle and run over a crow of people in exchange for €1,500, Italian newspaper, Corriere Della Serra is reporting.
According to intelligence and counter-terrorism sources, Alagi Touray, 22, who arrived in Italy last year after being rescued from a dingy in the Mediterranean, was a pawn in an international network reaching from Libya to Italy and with branches in France and Spain.
Police believe that Touray was prepared killed people and had sent a text message to a friend in Gambia on 13th April saying: “Don’t forget to pray for me. I’m on a mission. I need your prayers.”
Investigators found four films on his cell phone “shot on 10 April, in a shared folder created on the Telegram app” and sent “to a series of recipients” two days earlier. Three of the videos are test runs, and the final version is in the fourth video in which “he recites the complete formula: ‘I swear loyalty to the caliph of all the Muslims Abu Bakr Al Qouraci Al Baghdadi and to listen to and obey him, in good and bad times, on today, Monday 2 Rajab. And God is witness of what I say”.
Touray was arrested on April 20 as he was leaving a mosque in Licola, near the southern city of Naples, after local authorities received a tip off from Spanish intelligence that they had traced a message expressing loyalty to the Islamic State from a telephone in Italy. The outcome of initial checks was forwarded to the director of the police’s crime prevention squad, Lamberto Giannini, and to the commander of the Carabinieri’s special operations unit (ROS), Pasquale Angelosanto.
When interviewed after his arrest he denied being a member of the Islamic State and said that it was all a joke. However he changed his statement the next day and revealed to investigators that he was asked to take a car and mow people down.
“They asked me to take a car and run people over, and said they would send me money. They didn’t believe I would go through with it and that’s why they didn’t send me the money. I can’t drive. The orders came to me via Telegram. I just wanted the money,” he said.
Touray added that Batch Jobe, the friend in Gambia whom he asked to pray for him, had given him a Libyan phone number to call in the event of an emergency. And when he rang the number about a month ago, the person on the other end had asked him to make the video, and said that he would then send the €1,500.
He revealed that the same person had asked him to get a car and run people over . He said he only said yes to the plan to get the money and had no intentions to kill anyone.
Touray added that he recorded four videos because the person he came into contact with had complained that his first attempt did not seem convincing.