Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) — Switzerland said it foiled a terrorist attack in Europe by detaining three Islamic State extremists.
The Iraqi citizens are suspected of “misuse of explosives and toxic gases with criminal intent, acts preparatory to criminal offenses, pornography, and encouraging illegal entry to, exit from and residence in Switzerland,” the Federal Prosecutor said in a statement today. Prosecutors withheld the information from the public until now to avoid jeopardizing their investigation, it said.
The announcement comes just a week after a Canadian convert to Islam murdered a soldier at a war memorial in Ottawa before entering parliament where he was shot dead. European governments are increasingly concerned about links between their Muslim populations and Islamic State after Internet videos showed a militant with a British accent beheading U.K. and U.S. citizens.
The Swiss government this month enacted a six-month ban on any Islamic State activity or any support for the organization, citing its “grave violations of human rights.”
The prosecutor’s office, which is working with European and U.S. law enforcement authorities, said it’s trying to identify possible accomplices of the three suspects, who are in pre-trial custody, and “to uncover networks in Switzerland and abroad.”
Switzerland, which isn’t part of the European Union, is a member of Europe’s open-border Schengen area, where a single entry permit is good for access to multiple states.
The Swiss prosecutor is “currently conducting around 20 proceedings concerned with militant jihadism, including five related to Syria,” it said.
British police said last week they are running an “exceptionally high” number of terror probes related to the Islamist uprising in Syria and Iraq.
–With assistance from Eddie Buckle in London.
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