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Geneva airport revokes workers' security passes

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An armed policeman patrols Geneva Airport. Photo: Richard Juilliart/AFP
13:25 CET+01:00
More than 30 people working at Geneva's international airport have had their runway access revoked after it was discovered that two former baggage handlers were on French security police's radar, the airport and media said on Friday.

“Police asked us to withdraw the badges of some employees of companies with branches in the airport,” airport spokesman Bertrand Staempfli told AFP, confirming a report on the Le Temps daily's website.

The report stated that on December 22nd, more than 30 people saw their passes withdrawn - a number that Staempfli would not confirm, but which was confirmed by a source close to the case.

The decision came after the discovery in early December that French security services had files on two former baggage handlers at the airport, who were French citizens believed to have been radicalised.

Mr Staempfli stressed that the pair were no longer working at the airport when the French security services began keeping tabs on them.

After the baggage handler case came to light, head of Geneva's security ministry Pierre Maudet vowed to tighten controls at the airport and shorten the validity of the tarmac passes from five to two years, Le Temps said.

When the passes were revoked last month, the canton of Geneva was on a heightened security alert, following intelligence about a specific threat in the region.

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Geneva police on December 10th announced a manhunt for potential Islamic State group sympathisers and beefed up security at key locations, amid reports that US intelligence had identified a jihadist cell in the area.

The terror alert level was lowered again on December 28th.

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