London attacker's mum blames the Internet for his radicalisation

This article is more than 12 months old

ROME The mother of the Italian-Moroccan jihadist who helped carry out a deadly attack in London last week said on Tuesday she had tried to keep her son from falling under the sway of Islamic State ideology, but the Internet and his London friends changed him.

Ms Valeria Khadija Collina, who is Italian and converted to Islam, spoke in an interview with Italy's L'Espresso news magazine about her son, Youssef Zaghba, 22, one of the perpetrators of the June 3 attack.

"When children make mistakes, parents always feel some guilt. But I did my best, and I think he was worn down on the inside," she said.

Ms Collina lives near the northern city of Bologna. "We always kept track of his friends and made sure he didn't fall in with the wrong people. But he had Internet and that's where everything comes from," she said.

Ms Collina visited her son in London, and "that neighbourhood did not make me feel comfortable", she said.

"I was there and didn't like it. He spent his time with the wrong kind of people."

Ms Collina said she had spoken to Italy's anti-terrorism police last year after her son was prevented from travelling to the Middle East and added that they were the ones to tell her on Tuesday that her son had been one of the men who carried out the attack. - REUTERS

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