Jihadists face court over recruiting Islamic militants

The trial at the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona is expected to last three days. Keystone/Pablo Gianinazzi

A trial is underway at the Federal Criminal Court of two Islamists suspected of membership in a criminal organisation and recruiting followers to travel to conflict regions in Syria.

This content was published on August 10, 2020 - 12:03

One of the defendants is accused of fighting for a militant Islamic group with links to the Islamic State in 2013. On his return to Switzerland he allegedly used a martial arts school in the northern city of Winterthur to encourage at least five others to join militant groups.

The 34-year-old convert was temporarily in pre-trial detention in 2016 and is said to be well connected with Salafist groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany and Austria, according to the prosecutor’s indictment.

The second defendant is a 37-year-old Swiss-Macedonian dual national, also accused of recruiting young jihadists in Switzerland. In addition, he is facing charges of having a sexual relationship with a minor and pornography.

The 37-year old was arrested in Macedonia as he was trying to travel to Syria in 2014.

The trial at the Bellinzona courtExternal link is expected to last three days but it is not clear when the verdict will be announced. 

It is the latest in a series of trials of suspected Islamists in Switzerland over the past few years.

Share this story