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November arrest Terror suspects discussed attacks on Swiss nightclubs and trains

Picture of a police man on a motorcycle alongside concrete blocks to protect the traditional onion market in Bern.

The threat from terrorism remains low in Switzerland compared to other countries, but security measures have nevertheless been stepped up at events such as the traditional onion market in Bern.


A couple arrested last November, who allegedly had regular contact with the Islamic State (IS) militant group, considered concrete targets for possible terror attacks in Switzerland, it has emerged.

Special forces had arrested ten people in France and in Switzerland in November 2017, among them a 23-year old Colombian woman, whose husband, a Swiss from canton Neuchatel, is thought to be the head of a suspected terrorist cell. 

According to an investigative reportexternal link broadcast by Swiss Public television SRF on Friday evening, the couple, who were allegedly part of an internet group in contact with IS fighters, were planning various attacks on Swiss cities. Specifically, they made plans to derail passenger trains and attack nightclubs.

When questioned about the motives behind choosing these targets, the woman, who was interviewed by SRF from the Swiss prison where she is currently being held, said that the goal would have been to kill as many non-Muslim people as possible and to attack venues that served alcohol and hosted events for LGBTQ communities. Attacks on Christian churches were also discussed.

The woman said that these conversations, which were recorded by police, were “just thought experiments” and that she and her husband would have never put their plans into practice.

Nevertheless, Swiss authorities have decided to deport the woman back to Colombia – a decision she is now appealing.


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