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Switzerland’s ‘most dangerous jihadist’ captured in Syria

The jihadist evaded Kurdish forces when they captured the town of Al-Baghuz in March. Keystone / Ahmed Mardnli

The Geneva native turned Islamic State fighter was captured by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the eastern Syrian town of Al-Baghuz.

This content was published on July 22, 2019 - 18:37
swissinfo.ch/ac,ug

Several Swiss newspapers on Sunday reported that the 24-year old Daniel D. was seized last month.

The Swiss foreign ministryExternal link on Monday confirmed that a Swiss national was "deprived of his liberty" in north-eastern Syria", but refused to elaborate.

Daniel D. is the only Swiss jihadist on an Interpol list of 173 names, all members of the Islamic State’s "martyr brigade”. Trained to carry out terrorist attacks Daniel D. is better known by his alias Abu Ilias al-Swissri. Alongside his fellow-countryman Thomas C., who is probably no longer alive, counter-terrorism experts classify Daniel D. as "the most dangerous Swiss jihadist".

He was not heard of for a year even when Kurdish forces liberated Al-Baghuz, one of the last strongholds of the Islamic State, in March.

He managed to evade capture for another three months and was injured in a skirmish leading to his arrest, according to the papers Le Matin Dimanche, SonntagsZeitung and NZZ am Sonntag.  He has a wife, whom he married in Syria, and a 11-month old son. Both are believed to be held in the Al-Hol internment camp, controlled by the SDF.

Born into a Catholic family, he turned to Islam after failing to complete his education. It is believed that he was radicalized at the Petit-Saconnex mosque in Geneva.

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