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Defense Minister: Swiss training in militant camps

9 May 2011, 10:08

Published: 09 May 2011 12:26 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 May 2011 10:08 GMT+02:00

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The Swiss government has said a number of Swiss people train in Islamic militant camps abroad.



In an interview with the SonntagsZeitung newspaper, the minister said that the country’s intelligence services are keeping track of Switzerland’s “Islamic network,” a local group set up to recruit militants for the Jihad.

“We don’t know if we have a complete overview of the group,” Maurer was quoted as saying. “Every day, thousands of Swiss people go abroad. Later … we learned that a Swiss was in a training camp for terrorists.” Maurer also reportedly said the number of Swiss who join these camps is expected to increase, while some Swiss also visit Koran schools abroad.

The minister stressed that the secret services can only “observe and deliver an analysis,” under the current laws and that it is difficult to prevent Islamists from raising funds and help with logistics.

“We have no way to monitor people in private,” Maurer was quoted as saying.

He also said that the death of Osama bin Laden is likely to trigger reactions and attacks from al-Qaida militants, but added that Switzerland is not considered a main target.  


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