• Switzerland's news in English
Jail for three Iraqis guilty of supporting IS in Switzerland
The federal criminal court in Bellinzona. Photo: Tonatiuh Ambrosetti/OFCL

Jail for three Iraqis guilty of supporting IS in Switzerland

The Local · 18 Mar 2016, 12:15

Published: 18 Mar 2016 12:15 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The three men were part of a quartet of Iraqi nationals on trial in Bellinzona, in the canton of Ticino, since the end of February, charged with trying to plant an IS cell in Switzerland and planning terrorist attacks.

On Friday three of the four were found guilty and given prison sentences of up to four years eight months, reported news agency ATS.

The prosecution had requested a jail term of seven and a half years for two of them, including for the supposed ringleader, a wheelchair-bound 29-year-old who had “abused Swiss welfare”, it was reported earlier in the trial.

The fourth was found innocent and will receive damages of 1,092 francs.

The case rested on the interpretations of the quartet’s communications on the social network Facebook and messaging service Skype, said ATS.

For the prosecution, the words they used – including one deemed a code for a bomb – indicated that they were trying to bring people and materials to Switzerland to prepare an attack.

The defence denied that interpretation.

Asked why he used coded language in the online communications, the principal suspect said he felt he was under permanent surveillance by the US, ATS reported.

However the defendants' lawyers did concede that their clients had violated Swiss residency laws, said ATS.

A paraplegic, the ringleader arrived in Switzerland in 2012 and obtained asylum.

He is thought to have joined a terrorist organization in Iraq as early as 2004, the media said at the start of the trial.

Story continues below…

Hospitalized in Schaffhausen in the north east of the country before being moved to a centre for paraplegics in the canton of Aargau, he is said to have maintained close links with this organization and to have planned terrorist attacks.

Despite operations and rehabilitation, the Iraqi was active on social media platforms and posted videos supporting sharia law and terrorism, according to the prosecution.

The investigation and arrests were triggered by intelligence from the United States that an Islamic State cell planned an attack on Swiss soil.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Police discover body buried in Orbe house
File photo: Bas Leenders

Police have opened an investigation after finding a body buried in a house in Orbe, in the canton of Vaud, on Saturday.

Valais shaken by 4.2 magnitude earthquake
The earthquake hit in the canton of Valais near Sierre. Photo: Alain Rouiller

It's the biggest earthquake to hit the country for two years.

Swiss Indoors kicks off without champ Federer
Federer celebrates with ball girls and boys after winning the event in 2015. Photo: Harold Cunningham/Pool/AFP

Stan Wawrinka is top seed as injured Federer sits it out.

IOC hires Russian doping whistleblower as consultant
IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed the news. File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has hired Vitaly Stepanov as a consultant and is helping his runner wife Yuliya.

‘Scary clown’ craze hits streets of Zurich
Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP

Police in Zurich have warned so-called ‘scary clowns’ that they could face charges, following a number of incidents in the city.

VIDEO: driver chases runaway car on Swiss motorway
Image: Neuchâtel police

Shocking footage shows the moment a man dodged lorries to chase after his runaway car on a Swiss motorway.

Saas-Fee crowdfunds low-cost season ski pass
Saas-Fee is hoping to attract 99,999 season pass holders. Photo: Denis Emery/Photo-genic.ch

Skiers could get their hands on a whole season pass for just 222 francs ($223) in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee this winter – if enough people want one.

Swiss billionaire fined for dodging import tax
Urs Schwarzenbach owns the luxury Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich. Photo: Wilhem Rosenkranz

Urs Schwarzenbach faces a $4 million fine for failing to properly declare some 200 artworks imported into Switzerland.

Muslim woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf.

Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
jobs available