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Terror threat Increase in asylum seekers flagged as security risk

The man who attacked a Paris police station on the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks requested asylum in Switzerland in 2013 which was denied

(Keystone)

The number of asylum applications scrutinised by the Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) almost doubled in 2015 compared with the previous year. A total of nine asylum claims were recommended for rejection. 

According to information published in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Blick newspapers on Friday, Swiss intelligence had flagged up 4,910 asylum applications out of a total of 39,500 received in 2015. This is almost twice the number in 2014. However, proportionately the increase is only around 2%, considering that Switzerland received 15,500 more asylum requests in 2015. 

Nine asylum applications were recommended for rejection by FIS but it not yet clear whether these people reached Switzerland through the usual asylum routes. According to an FIS spokesperson, the nine “dangerous” asylum seekers are “individuals who have already violated internal or external security, or who present a threat”. 

It is also not clear whether these nine people have been arrested or deported because the FIS can only issue recommendations. 

To prevent terrorists from entering Switzerland under the guise of asylum seekers, the State Secretariat for Migration passes all asylum applications from high-risk countries to the FIS. The FIS then assesses these applications for any terror links. This procedure was put in place after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US. 

The list of high-risk countries is confidential and is defined by the FIS. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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