• Switzerland's news in English
Key Isis suspect arrested in eastern Switzerland
Image: SRF

Key Isis suspect arrested in eastern Switzerland

The Local · 22 Jun 2016, 09:40

Published: 22 Jun 2016 09:40 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

State prosecutors have not provided information on the charges against the man identified only as S. but he is thought to be suspected of supporting and belonging to a terror organization, state broadcaster SRF reported on Wednesday.

Winterthur is considered a hotspot for radical Islam in Switzerland with at least five men from the city near Zurich having travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight for Isis, the broadcaster said. The arrest of S. is, however, the first time authorities have detained a suspected key figure in the city’s Salafist scene.

S., a convert to Islam, has close links to the inner circle at Winterthur’s An‘ Nur-Moschee and is a respected figure among those wishing to convert to radical Islam, according to a report for the SRF current affairs programme Rundschau.

Rundschau trailed the man for over a year in preparing its report.

The show's presenters said the man had links to Winterthur’s MMA-Sunna-Gym run by Valdet Gashi who later travelled to fight to Syria along with at least two other members of the fitness centre.

S. is also thought to be linked to the German radical ‘Lies!’ (Read!) group which distributes free copies of the Koran. He allegedly travelled with group leader Abou Nagie to Barcelona to visit a firm which prints the Koran.

He is currently being held in a regional prison.

Winterthur, in the canton of Zurich, announced in May it was launching a new service aimed at preventing radicalization. The centre, modelled on a similar institution in Zurich and established for a limited period until 2018, will provide a contact point for the public to report and discuss cases of extremism and violence

In 2015, a Swiss war correspondent told a local newspaper that an Isis cell was operating out of a mosque in Winterthur

Story continues below…

Meanwhile teachers, social workers and youth workers in the city were among those given training to spot potential cases of radicalization in a series of workshops last year.

The Swiss Federal Intelligence Service said recently the number of would-be jihadists in the country had risen to 76 since 2001. The FIS is currently monitoring some 400 potential jihadists and a dozen people have been charged with terror-related offences.

More than 60 possible jihadists are currently facing prosecution, Swiss attorney general, Michael Lauber said in March.


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

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available