Swiss police: member of Spanish terror cell visited Zurich
At least one of the suspects involved in last week’s terror attacks in Spain visited Switzerland last December, Swiss federal police (Fedpol) have said.
Speaking to AFP, Fedpol spokeswoman Cathy Maret said: “We are aware of a night in a hotel in the Zurich region in December 2016.
“We don’t know the reasons for this visit to Switzerland. It is too early to give an in-depth analysis about the nature of any potential direct links with Switzerland.”
Police did not name the person involved, nor the Zurich hotel they visited.
However, according to Spanish media, two of the attackers visited Zurich at the time: one who was killed by Spanish police after the attack at Cambrils; and another who was fatally injured in an explosion at a house in Alcanar south of Barcelona on August 16th, the day before the attack on the famous boulevard Las Ramblas in the Catalan city. Police believe the cell was using the house to prepare explosives to use in a much bigger attack than the one that killed 15 in Barcelona and Cambrils.
Since the deadly attacks last Thursday questions have arisen over the 12-man terror cell’s possible international connections.
Abdelbaki Es Satty, an imam believed to have radicalized some of the cell’s members, and who was killed in the Alcanar blast, is thought to have spent several months in Brussels in 2016.
And the car used to mow down people in Cambrils was detected by a speed camera in the Paris region days before the Spanish attacks.
The Swiss government is currently considering how to tighten its anti-terror laws.
The proposed legislation, in consultation until October, would help to combat the recruitment and training of terrorists, increase jail sentences for offenders and make it easier for investigators to share intelligence with other countries.
READ ALSO: The changing face of jihadism in Switzerland