Anti-Radicalization: Zurich announces plans to tackle violent extremism


Thomas Würgler, head of canton Zurich police, explains the strategy next to Mario Fehr, head of security in the cantonal government.(Keystone)

Canton Zurich has outlined plans for countering radicalisation and violent extremism as part of a national strategy put forward by the government earlier this week. The three-pronged system will be coordinated by a new Intervention Centre that will be operational on March 1 next year.

The focus of the strategy is to better monitor risks, improve dialogue with minority groups (bridge building) and educate youngsters at schools and sports clubs. Police will coordinate its efforts with cantonal and communal authorities, schools, youth organisations and social services.

In tune with plans laid out by Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga on Monday, Zurich aims to nip potential problems in the bud before they turn into serious issues. At a press conference in Zurich on Thursday, Thomas Würgler, head of canton Zurich police, said the programme put the region “on the right track to tackling radicalisation”.

He added that Zurich would also actively be engaging in “knowledge transfer” with other cantons as part of the national policy.

Winterthur, the second largest city in the canton, has witnessed problems with Islamic radicalisation in recent years. Several people were recruited to travel abroad on jihad missions while a mosque was closed down in the summer following the arrest of an alleged hate preacher.

Bridge building

Top of the agenda for the canton’s plan is to spot signs of radicalisation before they result in violence. This will involve closer cooperation with schools, youth and sports organisations and social services.

A ‘bridge building’ team has been set up to make contact with cultural associations and centres supporting asylum seekers. “We want to bring youth with migrant backgrounds together with police so they can express their concerns and fears,” said Claudia Brandenberg, who heads the team.

The third pillar of the cantonal strategy involves managing threats should they arise.

While Switzerland has so far avoided such acts of violent extremism as witnessed elsewhere in Europe, the authorities remain vigilant. The Swiss Intelligence Service says that it is tracking 550 people judged to pose a potential risk, up from 497 at the end of 2016.

3 replies

  1. What are the glue or characteristic of the extremist Muslim ( Wahhabi and Syiah) Let me tell the truth.
    1. They hate and do not accept Sufi and Ahmadiyyah Muslim.
    2. The main goal is to create or establish Syariah state where Quran and Hadith as the state of constitution. The Extremist Clerics is aganist the system democratic Seculare and against Human Right.

    3. The extremist Muslim hate and hostile toward Christian, Jews and other beliefs

    4. The extremist Clerics impose women to wear hijab or burqa, impose male to grow beard etc
    5, The extremist Clerics impose close all restaurant and shops in Friday. Impose muslim to pray shalat jumaat.
    6, The extremist Clerics impose people NOT join celebrating other religion such as: Thank giving day, Christmas, and others event that prophet did not do it.

    7. The extremist Clerics want to create all activities everyday life using the Islamic label such as:
    — Syariah school— Syariah Bank—Shariah dress—syariah grocery store— Halal Food—halal drink—halal cosmetic— Halal restaurant—-Halah Hambarger— Halal Macdonald etc.

    The main goal of using the Islamic label is to eliminate the non Muslim product, in other words to boycott Jews and Christians product and employee.
    If every country can do the same, this world will be better off for living.
    With love❤️

    • Somi has his narrow views and does not want to learn. It has been researched and proved again and again that the so-called ‘Islamic Extremists’ have little or no knowledge of Islam, whether Qur’an or Hadith. Consequently all your ‘Muslim Extremist talk’ does not really have anything to do with this article. Do not blame me if I delete it in future.

    • Somi: If you want to eat non-halal pork sausages you may do so, but please do not push the rest of us to follow you.

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