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Study  Young Swiss jihadists live on welfare benefits

Hooded youth walking through underpass

Most radical Muslims in Switzerland are young men who are poorly integrated in the labour market, the study found.  

(Imago/westend61)

A new survey has found that about 40% of the 130 known Islamist militants in Switzerland receive welfare payments, including unemployment and disability benefits. 

Most of them are young men, living in suburban areas notably in the French-speaking part of the country, mainly unemployed and with low professional skills, according to the study published by the Zurich University of Applied Sciencesexternal link on Wednesday. 

The reportexternal link is an updated version of a 2015 study which used information and analyses provided by the intelligence service. 

The authors of the study say the number of jihadists has dropped considerably over the past three years, but the danger of militant activities has remained intact in European countries. 

The researchers also recommend adapting the Swiss prison system, notably further training for prison personnel, therapists and social workers, to deal with Islamist militants. 

The study points out that the expertise of Muslim imams is useful for prison personnel. 

+ The findings of the 2015 study: Steering Swiss youngsters away from radicalisation

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