Islamist target: Switzerland

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Maybe this helps explain why Switzerland departed from its usual silence and declared two weeks ago that Israel was violating international law as it tried to recover its kidnapped soldier and stop missile attacks aginst Israel .

Islamic radicals are making inroads in Switzerland. Last month, Swiss officials announced the arrests of a dozen suspects who allegedly conspired to shoot down an Israeli airliner flying from Geneva to Tel Aviv. In a related case, a North African man has been charged with organizing a plot from Swiss soil to blow up the Spanish supreme court in Madrid.

For years, even after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, Swiss officials assumed that their country was one of the last places Islamic radicals would look to attack. Long considered a slice of neutral territory in a world full of conflicts, Switzerland trades on its status as home to the International Committee of the Red Cross and other diplomatic institutions.

As the global jihad movement becomes more decentralized and fragmented, however, Swiss security officials are warning that their country could become a target.

In an intelligence report completed in May, the Swiss Federal Police reversed previous assessments that the domestic risk of terrorism was nearly nonexistent. The report concluded that Switzerland had become "a jihadi field of operation" and predicted that terrorist attacks were "an increasing possibility."

"It would be dishonest to say that these groups are ready to act in Europe but that Switzerland is an island and that these groups could not be active in Switzerland, too," Jean—Luc Vez, director of the federal police, said in an interview here in the Swiss capital. "It is very, very important for us to say this to the Swiss politicians and the Swiss people."

The article cites an estimate of 35,000 Muslims living in Switzerland, 5% of the population. Informed sources suggest to me that the actual number is closer to 10%. These are not people you bump nto on the ski slopes.

Some neutrality...no wonder the Nazis found it a useful place to hide stolen assets.

Ed Lasky   7 20 06

Maybe this helps explain why Switzerland departed from its usual silence and declared two weeks ago that Israel was violating international law as it tried to recover its kidnapped soldier and stop missile attacks aginst Israel .

Islamic radicals are making inroads in Switzerland. Last month, Swiss officials announced the arrests of a dozen suspects who allegedly conspired to shoot down an Israeli airliner flying from Geneva to Tel Aviv. In a related case, a North African man has been charged with organizing a plot from Swiss soil to blow up the Spanish supreme court in Madrid.

For years, even after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, Swiss officials assumed that their country was one of the last places Islamic radicals would look to attack. Long considered a slice of neutral territory in a world full of conflicts, Switzerland trades on its status as home to the International Committee of the Red Cross and other diplomatic institutions.

As the global jihad movement becomes more decentralized and fragmented, however, Swiss security officials are warning that their country could become a target.

In an intelligence report completed in May, the Swiss Federal Police reversed previous assessments that the domestic risk of terrorism was nearly nonexistent. The report concluded that Switzerland had become "a jihadi field of operation" and predicted that terrorist attacks were "an increasing possibility."

"It would be dishonest to say that these groups are ready to act in Europe but that Switzerland is an island and that these groups could not be active in Switzerland, too," Jean—Luc Vez, director of the federal police, said in an interview here in the Swiss capital. "It is very, very important for us to say this to the Swiss politicians and the Swiss people."

The article cites an estimate of 35,000 Muslims living in Switzerland, 5% of the population. Informed sources suggest to me that the actual number is closer to 10%. These are not people you bump nto on the ski slopes.

Some neutrality...no wonder the Nazis found it a useful place to hide stolen assets.

Ed Lasky   7 20 06