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Extremism Over 1,000 army recruits rejected for failing security checks

Men aged 18 and over are conscripted for compulsory military service in Switzerland, while women may volunteer.

(Keystone)

Swiss army spokesman Christoph Brunner confirmed to German-language newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag on Sunday that 1,213 would-be soldiers failed security checks in 2014, because they were considered to be “at risk“ for violence against themselves or others during their military service.

In 2013, 965 conscripts failed the security assessment, which has been required of all potential soldiers before entering the Swiss Army since 2011.

Young men deemed to present a potential risk of violence are not permitted to proceed with Switzerland’s compulsory military service. They are prohibited from undergoing any military training, and from receiving a personal firearm.

Conscripts may also be excluded from the Swiss army if they are considered to be at risk for violence specifically related to radical Islamism or jihadism, but this represents an extreme minority of cases – a total of four to date.

The specialised military service “Extremism in the Army” processed 41 cases last year, most of which were related to extreme right-wing political associations. Brunner stated that none of these cases resulted in criminal proceedings, and were based on suspicion of radicalisation rather than acts of violence. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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