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Radicalised online Swiss woman to face trial for ‘promoting jihad’

Syria has been engaged in a  bitter civil war for years

(Keystone)

A suspect Swiss jihadist is to face trial accused of involvement in the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group after she converted to Islam and rejected her life in Switzerland. The 31-year-old woman is accused of inciting others to wage holy war and promoting suicide bombings in Western cities.

The woman converted to Islam in 2009 and was radicalised over the internet when she was living in the Swiss city of Winterthur in the north east of the country. She then took her then four-year-old son to Egypt and Syria, via Turkey, where she allegedly enrolled with IS.

She was later arrested in Turkey and sent back to Switzerland where her travel documents were confiscated. According to prosecution documents seen by the Swiss news agency, she promoted Jihad to others once she was back in Switzerland. She wanted to “set an example to potential imitators”, prosecutors claim, and said martyrs would earn a place in heaven if they blew themselves up in Western cities.

Because Swiss law outlaws membership of IS and other terrorist groups, she was convinced that Switzerland was at war with IS, according to the indictment.  

In recent years Winterthur has become associated with Islamic radicalisation and young people going abroad on jihad, resulting in a controversial mosque being shut down in the summer.

The woman will face a trial in Bellinzona starting on December 15 charged with belonging to banned radical groups.

swissinfo.ch/mga and agencies

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