Albanian boy taken to Syria by Islamist mother back in Italy

ROME (dpa)- Alvin Berisha, an 11-year-old who was abducted to Syria five years ago by his Islamist mother, was flown back to Italy on Friday and reunited with his father and two sisters.
"Mission accomplished. #Alvin is [back] home in Italy," the Italian police tweeted, along with a picture of the boy at Rome's Fiumicino airport.

Berisha lived in Barzago, a town some 50 kilometres north of Milan, until December 2014, when his mother took him to Syria where she joined the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.
Earlier this year, his father received a note from the International Red Cross saying that the boy was found in the al-Hol camp in north-east Syria, which houses Islamic State detainees and their relatives.
He was there as an orphan, as his mother died in the Syrian conflict.
Italian authorities went on a mission to repatriate the boy, spurred by a TV programme which publicized his story. Albania and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement helped.
"The boy, who speaks Arabic and Albanian and no longer speaks Italian because he forgot it, was wary, but he was always smiling, he's doing fine," police official Maria Jose Falcicchia said.

Friday, November 8th 2019

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