Who is Aymen Abidi? The story of the funambulist (and fundamentalist?) who embarrassed the Italian Penitentiary Police

On the morning of September 18th, Tunisian detainee Aymen Abidi (25) managed to escape while being transferred to Sollicciano prison from Florence’s courthouse in viale Guidoni.

According to the reconstruction provided by Florence’s local newspaper “La Nazione”, Abidi was about to board a Penitentiary Police truck in the courthouse’s parking lot when he managed to slip out of his handcuffs, hit the escorting agent in the face and neck with the handcuff, push him on the ground, jump over a tall fence that delimits the parking perimeter and flee through the nearby San Donato park. The Penitentiary agent remained injured and received medical treatment and a prognosis of 10 days.

According to newspaper “Il Giornale”, Abidi’s last traces lead to the S.M.N. train station, a location that he should have reached onboard tram T2, that connects the airport to Piazza Unità.

Aymen Abidi is wanted by the German police for attempted murder. He is indicated as responsible for a shooting incident that occurred in the city of Leipzig on April 9th, 2020.

On July 10th, the German police tracked him down while hiding in a flat on the 4th floor of an apartment complex in Delitzsch, but Abidi managed to flee barefoot from the balcony and reach Florence, Italy, where he had friends.

The Italian police detected the fugitive on a bike and arrested him on July 23rd in the center of the city, after a long chase. However, Abidi managed to escape once again and this time in a very adventurous way.

At this point in time, many questions spontaneously arise, first of all, how is it possible that Abidi managed to slip out of his handcuffs? This isn’t exactly an easy task, unless you are Houdini…

Secondly, due to his particularly athletic conditions and the fact that he is considered extremely dangerous and violent (as indicated on Abidi’s profile posted by the German police), why was the detainee not being escorted by enough police personnel and with proper security measures? How did he have the time to run and jump over the tall fence delimiting the parking lot of the courthouse without anyone stopping him? Didn’t the personnel guarding the structure’s perimeter have enough time to intervene?

Is Ayman Abidi a Jihadist?

The local Italian newspaper “La Nazione” described Ayman Abidi as “a terrorist” and “a jihadist”. However, no correlations between the fugitive and terrorist activities have so far been found on the international media, nor has this element been indicated in the German police’s profile outline.

Abidi’s Facebook profile, which is under examination by Sec-Ter personnel, so far shows no elements that can link him to any sort of terrorist or jihadist activity. The photos posted in his profile show Abidi’s presence in Leipzig, Florence, and Tunisia.

It is yet unclear what Abidi’s relation to jihadism is. It is indeed possible that precise information linking the fugitive to such an activity haven’t been released to the public: was the April 9th shooting in Leipzig terror-related? Was Abidi attending extremist milieu in Germany? Did the German police find sensitive elements during the flat raid in Delitzsch? So far it is impossible to find any type of reliable confirmation.

Is he a dangerous criminal? Yes, and undoubtedly an athletic funambulist who finds no difficulties in fleeing barefoot from a balcony located on the 4th floor, in slipping out of handcuffs, and in jumping over security fences. A characteristic that makes many wonder why he was not being safely escorted out of Florence’s courthouse.

The fence outside the Courthouse of Florence, Italy
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