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radicalisation Number of surveillance targets in Geneva doubles in a year

pierre maudet

Maudet oversees the economics and security briefs in canton Geneva.

(Keystone)

The number of people suspected of becoming radicalised and placed under surveillance by authorities in Geneva has doubled in the space of a year, with some 86 currently being followed.

The figure was revealed by cantonal minister Pierre Maudet (of the centre-right Radical-Liberal party) on Monday in an interview with local newspaper Le Tribune de Genève.

Tracking these people can “range from light surveillance online to physical round-the-clock observation, which is put in place for some rare cases”, said Maudet, who is responsible for the economics and security departments in canton Geneva.

He said that the main reason for the increase was a raised surveillance threshold rather than an increased threat as such: “if you beef up checks, more people will clearly fall into the net.” He said that imams and Muslim community representatives were also more aware and cooperative, which meant that more suspicious individuals than before are being flagged.

Maudet also said that the question of radicalised people leaving to fight jihad abroad is less of a worry than those who return, who are toughened, resistant, and need more attention, he said. In Geneva, two returning fighters have been managed by authorities in recent times, he said, one of whom was successfully “re-socialised”.

SDA-ATS/dos

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