Probe launched into Swiss jihadist

Bombings continue in Damascus Keystone

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office has launched an inquiry into a Swiss resident suspected of joining or supporting a terrorist group in Syria opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

This content was published on April 6, 2014 - 16:15 and agencies

A spokesman confirmed reports of the probe in the SonntagsZeitung and Matin Dimanche newspapers.

The man, in his 30s and from the French-speaking part of the country, recently returned to Switzerland, “disappointed”, according to the newspapers.

The newspapers said he had converted to Islam in 2013 after attending a mosque in canton Vaud.

He is believed to be the first officially confirmed case of an alleged recruit from Switzerland by Syrian jihadists.

According to the Federal Intelligence Service, around 40 jihadists have departed from Switzerland to conflict zones and a dozen are estimated to be in Syria. Officials are particularly concerned about the danger they could pose to Swiss security.

Up to 11,000 individuals from 74 nations are thought to have become opposition fighters in Syria, according to a December 2013 study by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, based at King's College London.

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