Tribune de Genève.
Last night the French authorities searched the french homes of two imams associated with the mosque in Petit-Saconnex in Geneva, who live in the french town of Ferney-Voltaire not far from Geneva.
The wave of searches across France, since the country declared a state of emergency following the attacks in Paris, has now indirectly reached Geneva.
According to the Tribune de Genève, two French imams associated with the Geneva mosque received a surprise visit by armed French police at their homes in Ferney-Voltaire last night.
“I was asleep when I heard shouting in the stairway followed by people banging loudly against a door saying: police open! I leapt out of bed screaming. I immediately thought of terrorism” said a neighbour. She saw around 20 men in black, equipped with helmets and 1.5m shields in and around the building. “It was impressive and shocking. My father went onto the balcony and was told to go back inside immediately. I hid behind a cupboard for safety. I didn’t sleep at all during the night” she said.
Two other neighbours described the same scene.
Described as a very nice father who caused no problems, the French security services have had a file on the man targeted since 2012. Originally from Toulouse, he appears in the same file as the author of seven murders, which took place March 2012. The two had been in contact by telephone several months before the murders according to mobile phone records. The individual denied the contact.
A few hundred metres away another older imam from the Geneva mosque was visited by the police. The French security services also have a file on this individual. A third search also took place in the same area according to the newspaper.
What were the police looking for in the home of these two French converts, who both studied in Medina in Saudi Arabia? Documents, computer files and telephones. Will these searches lead to legal proceedings? It is too soon to tell.
Contacted by Tribune de Genève on Thursday the two imams have not returned the newspaper’s calls. Neither has the director of the Fondation culturelle islamique de Genève, which manages the mosque.
Full Tribune de Genève article (in French)