The Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office is investigating some 20 cases involving radical jihadist terrorism, including four cases connected to Syria, a spokeswoman for the office told the Swiss News Agency.
The office was responding to an NZZ am Sonntag newspaper report that three Iraqi nationals had been in detention “since the spring” under suspicion of membership and support of an illegal organisation.
“At least three Iraqi nationals are suspected of founding a cell of the terrorist organization Islamic State (IS) and using it to provide financial and logistical support to IS,” the paper wrote.
The prosecutor’s office declined to give more details about the 20 cases on the grounds of official confidentiality, confirming only that the state’s prosecution authorities were investigating people who had travelled from Switzerland to conflict zones to take part in a ‘Holy War’.
“According to the information available to date, people who travelled to a conflict zone were assigned to radical groups, after their individual skills and fighting potential were evaluated,” Balmer said.
In June the Swiss cabinet quoted figures from the Federal Intelligence Service claiming that around 40 people have left Switzerland to join the Jihadist movement in Syria. They face criminal prosecution if they return.
Meanwhile Turkey is facing one of the biggest influxes of refugees from neighbouring Syria since the war there began more than three years ago, the United Nations' refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Sunday, as civilians continued to flee clashes between Islamic State (IS) militants and Kurdish forces.
IS fighters seized dozens of villages close to the border and advanced on the frontier town of Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobani in Kurdish, as Kurdish commanders issued a rallying cry to Turkish Kurds to join the fight.
At least 70,000 people are confirmed to have crossed into Turkey in less than two days, and the real figure may be more than 100,000, the UNHCR said.
swissinfo.ch and agencies