Italy: Islamist ideology radicalizing Nigerian mafia, police say

A newly released report suggests that organized criminals involved in the Nigerian mafia-run a high risk of Islamic radicalization as the influence of groups like Boko Haram spreads among the organization.

The Italian Anti-mafia Investigations Directorate (DIA) released the report which claims that members of the Nigerian mafia are constantly in contact with people still living in their home country – a key outpost of the radical Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.

The DIA says that there exists a very real risk of Islamic radicalization among this group, while it has pushed for the strict monitoring of Nigerian mafia members who currently serving time in Italian prisons, Il Giornale reports.

The nefarious methods used by the Nigerian mafia are well-documented. Such methods that are commonly used to force women into sexual slavery include intense physical threats combined with twenty-first-century technology and voodoo rituals.

Ruthless punishments are also dealt out to members who try to leave the mafia. It’s not uncommon for members who try to leave to be killed by other members of the mafia.

A cell operating in Bologna is reported to have threatened to torture and burn members alive if they disobeyed the group’s internal rules.

In 2016, a member of the Nigerian mafia who decided to assist Italian authorities investigations said, “When I entered this organization, the things I saw were horrible and made me unhappy. You can stop being part of it only with death.”

While describing the initiation ritual into the mafia, he said, “They told me to undress, to stay in my underwear and kneel down. They started brutally beating me, with kicks and punches for twenty minutes.”

Following the brutal beating, they allegedly burned a piece a paper with the group’s symbol into his hands.

The Nigerian mafia has been known to employ especially brutal tactics, according to prominent Italian criminologist and psychiatrist Alessandro Meluzzi, who has said members often cannibalize their victims are murdering them.

“The Nigerian Mafia, the most ruthless mafia in the world… Its sects are colonizing Italy and stealing business from the traditional mafia families,” Meluzzi said.

“It is a routine to cut victims into pieces and, in some cases, to eat parts of their bodies,” he continued.

“In the Nigerian mafia, ritual cannibalism is not an exception, but a rule. These are normal things for them, but here nobody talks about it, out of fear of being called racist. We should get used to these things: this is just the tip of an iceberg destined to grow larger,” he warned.

Italy: Islamist ideology radicalizing Nigerian mafia, police say