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Fighting abroad

Intelligence Service tallies jihadists from Switzerland

The number of jihadist fighters from Switzerland has almost tripled over the last 1.5 years, according to the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service (FIS). Just 20 fighters left Swiss soil between 2001 and May 2013; the remaining 35 have left since then.

Between 2001 and September 2014, the intelligence service tallied 55 cases of people leaving Switzerland to fight in jihadist conflicts. Thirty-one went to Iraq or Syria, while 24 went to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.

18 individuals currently living in Switzerland are believed to have returned from fighting in jihadist conflicts. Another 31 people from Switzerland remain abroad, fighting in so-called holy wars across the Middle East.

In one of the 18 cases of suspected returned jihadists, the FIS is sure the individual concerned had been fighting in jihad-motivated conflicts. The other 17 individuals are strongly suspected of having taken part in such conflicts.

Five of the 31 people currently overseas fighting in jihadist conflicts are believed to be travelling among several countries; of those five, the FIS has confirmed information regarding the movements of two individuals.

Six people originating from Switzerland have been listed as dead in jihadist conflicts, of which five have been confirmed dead by the FIS.

The FIS released no details on the identities of any of the individuals concerned.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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