Swiss support UN on foreign fighters

Didier Burkhalter placed his vote for Switzerland to support the resolution aimed at tackling foreign fighters AP
This content was published on September 25, 2014 - 11:30 and agencies

Switzerland has given its backing to a UN Security Council resolution on foreign terrorist fighters. The move, which was co-sponsored unanimously by more than 100 member states, does not give authorisation for the use of military force.

It means Switzerland has agreed to tackle so-called home-grown terrorists, who head to conflict zones to fight for groups abroad.

Swiss President Didier Burkhalter was present in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. He said young people who are at risk must be given an alternative to extremism rather than following in the footsteps of other young fighters.

In a statement the foreign ministry said its support for the resolution showed Switzerland’s “willingness to actively participate in international efforts to prevent and combat the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters”.

The issue has come even closer to home this week, as Swiss newspaper the Tages-Anzeiger reported that three Iraqis had been detained in Switzerland since spring for allegedly planning a terrorist attack. The reports of a terrorist “sleeper cell” are unconfirmed.

Lorenzo Vidino, an expert on jihadists from the Center for Security Studies at the Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, told Swiss public television, SRF, “it looks like these three people did not act in an amateur fashion. They did not just sympathise with these ideologies on social media sites such as Facebook”.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office has refused to comment on the allegations.

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