Kidnapped Italian Aid Worker Allegedly Forced to Convert to Islam
Italian intelligence officials have claimed that kidnapped aid worker Silvia Romano is alive and was forced to convert to Islam and marry a Somalian man.
The 23-year-old Italian national was kidnapped in Kenya in November of last year and taken prisoner in the village of Chakama, 50 miles from Nairobi.
Intelligence officials said she was then taken to territory in southern Somalia controlled by the radical Islamist organisation al-Shabab. Her captors then forced her to convert to Islam, Il Giornalereports.
The paper claims Italian intelligence heard about Romano’s situation through local sources, but added that there was no reliable information as to her whereabouts or her current status.
Intelligence officials had planned on executing a military intervention to rescue Romano. That option was ruled out in response to news that her captors have taken her to Somalia, which has far fewer reliable allies.
Instead, officials have sought to find the captors and negotiate a ransom for her release. So far, they have been unsuccessful.