ATbar IRI Report: Switzerland

IRI Report: Switzerland

05/11/2020  

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Switzerland has served as a logistical base of operation for various Jihadist groups around the globe for years, and therefore has not been troubled by major terrorist attacks. This changed dramatically with the emergence of ISIS and the wave of foreign fighters travelling to Syria from countries throughout Europe. Although Switzerland is considered to be a neutral state, not participating in any warring conflict, it is nonetheless considered to be a kuffar state in the eyes of radical Islamists and therefore constitutes a legitimate target for global Jihad. The presence of radical Islam in Switzerland may be traced back to the 1960s, when the Swiss government granted Said Ramadan, the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder Hasan al-Bana’s son in-law, asylum. From here, Ramadan was able to continue spreading the Brotherhood ideology around the globe and establish himself within the Saudi-funded Muslim World League. For many years, Islamist individuals were able to create networks that ideologically, logistically, and financially supported radical groups in their native countries. With the emergence of ISIS, a strategic shift took place within Jihadi groups, evolving from centralized and structured to decentralized and unstructured groups, with a growing

presence on social media. It also became increasingly difficult for security services to detect radical individuals online, making it easier for terrorist organizations to conduct propaganda, recruitment, and financing activities. The case of the Salafi-Jihadi youth network in Winterthur was one of the most high profile in Switzerland. Out of all the Jihadist cases in Switzerland, this example has received the most media attention in the German-speaking part, with various articles reporting on different aspects and individuals of this network.

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