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Anti-terrorism Swiss to step up fight against jihadism

Investigations are underway against more than 20 people in Switzerland suspected of having joined radical Islamist groups 

(Keystone)

The Swiss government has decided to sign an amendment to a European Council convention aimed at preventing terrorism, outlawing the funding and recruitment of potential fighters and organising trips of militants to conflict areas.

Switzerland will be the first country to sign this accord, the first of its kind, in Latvia next week.

“Switzerland wants to show the world that it is taking seriously the fight against terrorism,” said cabinet spokesman André Simonazzi on Wednesday.

The government also plans to submit planned legal amendments to parliament for approval.

Terrorist activities and preparations for such crimes are already banned under existing Swiss law, according to the justice ministry.

More than 20 investigations are underway into people who joined organisations, including the radical Islamic State group.

Terrorist travellers

A total of 40 Swiss-based people are known to have travelled to conflict regions to join Islamist militias; up to 30 others are suspected of it. Most of them do not have a Swiss passport, according to the defence ministry.

The government also set up a special unit last year to examine the increasing number of terrorist travellers from Europe to conflict in the Middle East, northern Africa, the Arab peninsula and central Asia.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch and agencies


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