A security and counter terrorism expert Kiyo Nganga has penned down an analysis on how the life of Silvia Romano, the saved Italian lady, will eventually cost hundreds if not thousands of lives in the horn of Africa. Here is what he wrote on his Facebook account:
“These photos of Silvia Romano, takes me back to the books of psychology of criminal behaviors, i will come back to that.
For starters, The Italian lady Romano was an aid worker for humanitarian group Africa Milele when she was kidnapped from a village in Kilifi Kenya back in November 2018. She was taken to somali and held by an Alshabaab elite unit called Amniyat which is the Alshabaab Intelligence Unit.
This is the recruitment and information wing.
They held her for two years until this week when she was released.
Armistice Security Consult International- ASCI OSINT intel indicate that the Italian government paid some ransom to procure her release. I will come back to that.
Most islamic groups are known to behead their hostages after some period of unfruitful ransom claims, i have not been keen on Alshabaab’s modus operandi when it comes to hostages but several questions ring in my mind disturbingly;
What hope made them keep Romano for 2 years?
What made them keep Romano alive for 2 years without any harm?
Something caught my eye when she addressed the media on arrival back to her country, “I converted to Islam. But it was my free choice, there was no compulsion on the part of the kidnappers who always treated me with HUMANITY, I am now Aisha.” she said
Islamism is a religion like no other, an abrahamic religion just like christianity.
There is nothing wrong with converting to islam but those who made her convert, what they taught her and how they taught her.
Shabaab is known to advance radical jihadist ideologies , what could have made them not to feed Romano to Jihadism? Is there a possibility that Romano is no longer the humanitarian she was when she entered Africa and is now a Jihadist?
Let us go back to where we started, in the books of psychology of criminal behaviors.
In hostage situation the mind continues to play its game which is to influence feelings and eventually behaviour, a hostage experiences psychological response every minute of the situation.
One of the psychological response is the Stockholm syndrome.
Stockholm syndrome is commonly linked to high profile kidnappings and hostage situations.
It occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers. This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of captivity.
With this syndrome, hostages may come to sympathize with their captives. This is the opposite of the fear, terror, and disdain that might be expected from the victims in these situations.
Over the course of time, the victims do come to develop positive feelings toward their captors. They even begin to feel as if they share common goals, ideologies and causes.
In terrorist situation this is an easy target for recruitment and radicalization.
This could be the situation for Aisha/silvia Romano, it could as well be not the case but time will tell. The italian government ought to watch over her, watch her every move, watch every interview she conduct, watch everybody she interact with.
Talk of Italian government, we go back to the OSINT intel by Armistice Security , the ransom to the Alshabaab.
3M US Dollars is what we are talking about; an amount to a terror group. What is the most likely activity they will finance? Of course they aren’t going to buy masks for somali and the region to fight COVID 19, they are going to advance their cause.
The life of the saved Italian will eventually cost hundreds if not thousands of lives in the horn of Africa.
It was a mistake. It will end in premium tears.”
(Kiyo is a security expert and the founder of Armistice Security Consultant international- ASCI)