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Switzerland detains four ‘terrorism supporters’

The Syrian nationals were arrested in the country over alleged “support activities” for a Jihadist group

Swiss law enforcement carried out a major counter-terrorism operation on Thursday, detaining four suspects over alleged links to a Syrian-based terrorist group.

The operation was commissioned by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG), with seven properties searched simultaneously in two cantons. It was not immediately clear whether any incriminating evidence had been recovered during the raids.

All four suspects – aged 28, 49, 53, and 57, respectively – are Syrian nationals, the OAG said in a statement. Two of the suspects were living in refugee asylums, while two others had been granted residence permits on other grounds, the body noted.


“The suspects are believed to have carried out various support activities for a terrorist group. The group concerned is connected with Jabhat Al-Nusra, the former Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda,” the office said, referring to a Syrian-based Jihadist group currently known as Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

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The terrorist group is still active in the country, arguably remaining the main force opposing Syria’s government after Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and lesser groups were crushed during the years-long war in the country.

The arrests come after a lengthy investigation, with three separate legal proceedings on the suspects occurring between January and September 2022. The OAG hinted that foreign security agencies had been involved in the case, but did not provide any concrete information on the matter.


“As part of the criminal proceedings, the OAG has also been in contact with several other countries by way of international mutual assistance,” it said.

The OAG promised to provide further updates on the case shortly. As of now, it remains unknown whether the suspects will remain in custody. “As always, the presumption of innocence applies to all four suspects,” the OAG noted.

August 11, 2023 at 02:54AM


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