Radicalised jihadists remain the biggest threat to Swiss national security even though the country is not a priority target for potential terrorists, according to the intelligence service.
An annual reportexternal link released on Monday by the Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) shows the security situation in Switzerland has become more complex with radicalised jihadists still posing the gravest danger. The conflict in Ukraine is also a cause for major concern.
The phenomenon of jihad-motivated travel is a serious security problem for Western states, including Switzerland,” the report says.
“While Switzerland is not the target of jihadist groups, as part of the European danger zone it remains under threat,” says the report. “Swiss citizens could fall victim to opportunist acts of terror or kidnappings in unstable regions of the world.”
In a foreword to the report, Swiss Defence Minister Ueli Maurer says Switzerland needs cooperation from other countries and from Muslims themselves to reduce the threat.
“As far as the threat is concerned, it is clear that we can reduce it only by working together with other affected parties,” Maurer wrote.
“These include especially those countries in which jihadism is rife, and above all Muslims, who are particularly suffering from the actions of their criminal fellow believers,” he said. “They play an important role in the early detection and prevention of radicalisation.”
According to the FIS, between 2001 and September 2014 there were 55 cases of people leaving Switzerland to fight in jihadist conflicts. Of these, 35 had gone since May 2013