Switzerland's intelligence service has said that it has identified and is observing a number of "conspicuous people" who expressed support for Anders Behring Breivik, the murderer of at least 77 people in recent terrorist attacks in Norway.

"/> Switzerland's intelligence service has said that it has identified and is observing a number of "conspicuous people" who expressed support for Anders Behring Breivik, the murderer of at least 77 people in recent terrorist attacks in Norway.

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BREIVIK

Swiss spies keep tabs on Breivik sympathizers

Switzerland's intelligence service has said that it has identified and is observing a number of "conspicuous people" who expressed support for Anders Behring Breivik, the murderer of at least 77 people in recent terrorist attacks in Norway.

Swiss spies keep tabs on Breivik sympathizers

Deputy head of the Swiss federal intelligence agency (NDB) Jürg Bühler told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper that the agency had been trawling through online forums since the Oslo attacks. 

“We haven’t found anyone who actually approved of the massacre,” he told the paper on Sunday. “But there are people who praised the ideology of Breivik’s manifesto. And this ideology certainly has a tendency to violence.”

Bühler said they were currently talking about “less than ten people,” but that this number could grow as investigations continue. He said the NDB was currently liaising with canton authorities to find out more about the subjects.

“We are finding out whether the subjects have already come to the attention of other authorities,” said Bühler. “Then we will try to evaluate their potential for violence and find out if they are part of a scene.”

Bühler added, “If it becomes clear that they only sympathize with Breivik on ideological grounds, the law does not allow us to continue our investigations – only if there is an actual threat of violence.”

Preventative surveillance is a controversial topic in Switzerland – the parliament voted down a bill widening police powers two years ago, though the government is reportedly preparing a new bill for next year.

“The time could be ripe for further surveillance measures,” said Bühler.

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FINE

Germany’s far-right AfD handed huge fine over illegal Swiss funding

Germany's far-right party AfD has been fined more than €400,000 for having received illegal campaign funding during regional elections, parliament's administrative body told AFP on Tuesday.

Germany's far-right AfD handed huge fine over illegal Swiss funding
Jörg Meuthen and Guido Reil of the AfD received funds from a Swiss advertising agency. Photo: DPA

One of the party's co-chiefs, Jörg Meuthen, and another leading member, Guido Reil, had received funds from Swiss advertising agency Goal AG in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

But German political parties are banned from receiving campaign funds from non-EU sources.

SEE ALSO: German far-right capitalizes on migrant crimes in EU election campaign

As a result, parliament's administrative body said it had imposed a fine of €402,900 , which essentially amounts to three times that of the illegal donations.

Both Meuthen and Reil are leading candidates for the AfD – Alternative for Germany – in May's European Parliament elections.

The far-right party faces further fines as one of its leaders, Alice Weidel, was also being investigated for having received around €132,000 from a Swiss source.

The six-year-old AfD, the country's biggest opposition party, opposes multiculturalism, Islam and the immigration policies of Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom it labels a “traitor”.

It shook up Germany's political landscape when it won 12.6 percent of the vote in the 2017 general elections, taking dozens of seats in the Bundestag for the first time.

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