Switzerland in the Aftermath of Paris Terror Attacks: Geneva on alert, hunting suspects

Last Updated: December 12, 2015
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Geneva on alert, hunting suspects
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Like any other European country adjacent to France, Switzerland reacted on high alert level and police are searching for suspects linked to the terrorist attacks in Paris.

With information provided by the U.S. intelligence services, Geneva had the list of individuals who planned the attack. U.S. intercepted communications of a group of extremists who were plotting to attack Geneva as well as Chicago and Canada.

The threat of terrorism in Switzerland is no longer just a heresy but an accurate threat that prompted Geneva to raise the alert warning to a “ high level” on Thursday, December 10, 2015.

Emmanuelle Lo Verso, head of communications at the Geneva Department of Security, in an interview with CNN said that the country, has “gone from a vague threat to a precise threat,” but she did not give a further comment on the “nature of the threat.”

Switzerland’s anti-terrorism campaign, kicked off with police searching for suspects, particularly the five “radicalized people” who are believed to be members of the “Mourad Fares’ network, according to reliable sources in an interview by CNN. Mourad Fares is a French national who was known to have worked for ISIS mainly in Francophone countries, and in Switzerland, including in Geneva as alleged by French intelligence. He is responsible for the recruitment of individuals or groups for jihad in Syria.

Fares was arrested in Turkey in August last year but was transferred and detained in France since September, 2014. But, Fares was the one who recruited Foued Mohamed-Aggad, identified to be the third attacker in Bataclan theater, according to Bernard Cazeneuve, the French Interior Minister.

The link between Mohamed-Aggad and Fares, the recruiter and the Swiss associate of Fares who is suspected to be in Syria joining the ISIS while his current whereabouts are unknown, triggered security concerns.

Also, upon having important information from U.S. intelligence that four individuals are plotting attacks against Switzerland and cities in the United States, Geneva then heightened its terror alert level. It is not disclosed and the Swiss authorities are not even aware whether the terrorism plotters are in Swiss territory.

Thus, it has to take extra precaution, according to a reliable source. In a statement released to the media it was said the the “level of vigilance in the city has been raised and that more police have been put on the streets.”

The national government handed to Geneva authorities the description of suspects who might have already entered Geneva or are just hiding within the Geneva region. These investigations are implemented in close coordination with the French police and international bodies.

Moreover, information leaks have revealed that extremists have returned and are spread out in Europe after connecting with ISIS in Syria. Salah Abdeslam, a person suspected of having involvement in the Paris attacks, had crossed into Switzerland and is still not found.

The U.N. complex in Geneva, the second largest in the world next to New York city has join the raising of the alert. This was confirmed by Rheal LeBlanc, spokesman of the complex, that the U.N. security staff manning the entry points are armed with heavier equipment. This is in conjunction with security advice from Swiss authorities.

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