Tribune de Genève.
According to the newspaper, a resident of the French region of Haute-Savoie sought by the French authorities after the attacks in Paris, worked as a baggage handler at Geneva airport for six months.
The self proclaimed preacher placed under house arrest in November, before being placed in detention for not regularly clocking in with the police according to Le Temps, had worried the local authorities for some time. Tribune de Genève’s sources, revealed that French intelligence recently opened a file on him because of his membership of a radical islamic movement. The 26 year-old worked for Dnata as a bag handler at the airport between November 2014 and April 2015 on a fixed term contract. He looked after outsized bags and his behaviour didn’t appear to pose a problem.
The director of Dnata in Geneva, not referring to this particular case, said that the company respects the rules in place regarding staff monitoring and vetting.
The Department of Security and the Economy, the airport’s supervisory body said that “When hiring this person, the interview didn’t reveal any problems. His police record was clean. There was nothing preventing us giving him an airport access card.”
This case comes after another bag handler, working for Swissport, was suspected of participating in a hostage taking on 24 February. This individual was fired in June for absences which started in February. On 23 November he was arrested at his home in Haute-Savoie in France. French intelligence recently opened a file on this young man for radicalisation.
These worrying profiles can apparently not be spotted during staff security checks when hiring. The head of DES, Pierre Maudet, announced last week that tarmac access card validity was reduced from five years to two last summer. This means the files of the 10,000 employees working at the airport will be analysed within two years.
A spokesperson from the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) said “security controls regarding employees fulfill international safety standards. Since the recent events, patrols have intensified as well as unannounced measures for employees and passengers. For security reasons FOCA will not give further details.”
Full Tribune de Genève article (in French)