Islamic Central Council member faces criminal proceedings

Criminal proceedings are being brought against an ICCS board member, as well as another, unidentified individual. Keystone

The Swiss Attorney General’s Office and Swiss Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) have opened a criminal proceeding against a German citizen on the Board of Directors of the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ICCS), who is suspected of having violated a federal law prohibiting extremist groups.

This content was published on December 19, 2015 - 12:59 and agencies

The unnamed individual has been accused of having recorded a propaganda video of a trip to conflict zones in Syria “without having distanced himself explicitly from al-Qaeda activities”, the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement on Saturday.

He is also accused of having interviewed a senior member of jihadist organisation Jaish al-Fatah ("Army of Conquest"), of which the Syrian al-Qaeda branch Jabhat al-Nusra ("Support Front") is also a member. These actions place the individual under suspicion of having violated Article 2 of a Swiss federal law prohibiting groups like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

The Attorney General’s Office said on Saturday that the proceedings were originally opened on December 9, and that criminal proceedings were also being brought against a second, unidentified person.

Currently, the Attorney General’s Office, with Fedpol’s support, is leading 46 criminal proceedings related to jihad-motivated terrorism, most of which concern suspected propaganda and suspected support of terrorist organisations.

On Friday, the Swiss government announced that in light of increased workload and more investigations in recent months, it has created 86 new positions within the federal police, intelligence service and border patrol agencies dedicated to fighting terrorism.

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