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Suspected Swiss jihadist released on conditions

Swiss authorities have been trying to crack down on suspected Swiss jihadists such as this one pictured in 2013 Keystone

The 25-year-old man who became the first suspected Swiss jihadist to be prevented from travelling abroad has been released, but the case against him remains open.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office said on Wednesday there were no longer any grounds to keep the man in custody. A resident of the Zurich area, he has been banned from travelling, with his passport and ID confiscated, and he must occasionally report to police.

He was arrested in early April at Zurich airport before a planned trip to the region of Syria and Iraq where he intended to join the Islamic State terror group, according the prosecutor’s office. The arrest came as the result of a police investigation.

The suspected jihadist, whose identity has not been made public, has been investigated for allegedly supporting outlawed criminal organisations such as al-Qaeda and Islamic State. Swiss authorities, who have taken a tough stance against what they describe as a recent rise in jihad-motivated terrorism, have said they are investigating some two dozen criminal cases against suspected jihadists.

There have been 55 known cases of people leaving Switzerland between 2001 and September 2014 to fight in jihadist conflicts – including 35 just since May 2013, the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service has said.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR