Senegalese Migrant Sets Bus Full of Schoolchildren on Fire in Protest of Italian Immigration Policy

A Senegalese immigrant in Italy set a school bus with children inside on fire as a way of seeking revenge for Italy’s tough asylum and migration policies.

Ousseynou Sy, 47, doused the school bus he was driving with petrol and set it on fire in the province of Cremona near the city of Milan. Sources described him as having been an Italian citizen since 2004, having arrived in the country some time before.

A police spokesman described Sy as demanding Italy “stop the deaths at sea, I’ll carry out a massacre.” Fortunately, the 51 school children on board the bus were able to exit the vehicle before it was lit aflame, averting any casualties.

Sy is also said to have a criminal history involving sexual assault of a minor, raising questions about how such an individual was able to become a school bus driver. He allegedly ordered a teacher on the bus to tie the children’s hands with zipties, who declined to follow his command and endanger the middle school children.

Italy has been on the front lines of waves of mass migration from Libya and North Africa, usually consisting of migrants from sub-Sarahan African countries making dangerous attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

Many migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean making the dangerous crossing, and Italians have shouldered the considerable burden of hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving in the southern European country. Discontent with an open-door migration policy has led to the election of a left-populist and nationalist coalition government in Italy, and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has implemented policies to deter the arrival of migrant boats. 

Vessels associated with pro-migration non-governmental organizations, previously involved in picking up migrants just off the coast of Libya and shuttling them to Italian ports, have been denied access to the country. Increasingly, such vessels are choosing to bring asylum seekers to Spain as a way of avoiding Italy’s crackdown on what many have called institutionalized human smuggling.

Salvini’s nationalist immigration policies have become widely popular in the country, even though it appears one discontent individual was motivated to resort to violence and threats in an attempt to derail them.

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