The profile of Ahmed Ibrahim, the Rome-Termini attacker: was it jihad?

On Friday, June 18th an African illegal immigrant, armed with a knife, threatened people outside Rome’s Stazione Termini before turning his rage against police officers who rushed to the scene in order to block and place him under arrest.

In the scene, fully caught on camera (watch here), the attacker can be seen jumping on top of some parked scooters and then quickly move back and forth towards the officers, armed with a knife held in reverse grip mode. After realizing that the individual had no intention of surrendering, one of the officers was forced to shoot, non-lethally injuring the attacker to the groin, in order to place him under arrest.

The attacker posed a serious threat not only to the law enforcers but to passers-by as well and the intervention had to be terminated as quickly as possible.

What is currently know about the attacker? Not much, because he had illegally reached Italy boarding one of the many boats departed from North Africa, but his real nationality was never uncovered, due to lack of cooperation by Consular offices of the potential countries of origin of the individual (Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana and Ivory Coast). If the identification process is not completed, it is impossible to identify the individual’s nationality and deport him.

Presumed name: “Ahmed Ibrahim” or “Brahim Ahmed

Presumed nationality: Ghanaian or Ivorian

Age: 44

Already known to authorities:

In 2016 he wrecked four churches in Rome (San Martino ai Monti, Santa Prassede, San Vitale, and San Giovanni dè Fiorentini), destroying statues, candle holders, crosses, and icons because “unrespectful of Islam”.

In 2020 he was reported twice for disturbing religious ceremonies in Saint Peter Square, and attacking police officers.

Another time he was stopped and found in possession of illegal substances and he attacked the police with an awl. He had several additional reports for vandalism, violent acts, and he had also injured an imam with a glass bottle.

However, the interesting part comes from the Central Police Department of Prevention, which indicates that Ibrahim was active in jihadist and pro-Isis proselytism while in prison, and was also known for hatred against Christians and law enforcement. His name had been present for a long time in the Italian law enforcement database and classified as a socially dangerous subject.

It is yet unclear if the attack can be classified as “jihadist” or not, but his background is certainly interesting.

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