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French police search

Wanted Algerian Islamist arrested in Switzerland

A former member of the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria who had been sought by French police for two weeks has been arrested in Switzerland, according to Swiss justice authorities. 

The man had been under house arrest in western France but did not show up for one of his four daily check-ins with police on September 8. He was arrested on Thursday in the town of Vallorbe while attempting to ask for asylum in Switzerland. 

Employees at the Vallorbe asylum centre recognised him and alerted authorities, according to the State Secretariat for Migration SEM. 

The man refused a simplified extradition to France, which means Switzerland will have to ask for a former extradition request from Paris. He will be free to oppose that request, at which point the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) will rule on it. However, the FOJ’s decision may then be appealed to the Federal Criminal Court and the Federal Supreme Court. 

The man arrested Thursday had been under house arrest in the French town of Evron since December 2015. He had previously been sentenced to 10 years in prison for having plotted an attack in Paris. 

The Armed Islamic Group of Algeria was one of two main Islamist insurgent groups that fought the Algerian government and army during the Algerian Civil War, which lasted from 1991 until 2002. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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