Tribune de Genève.
According to the newspaper, unease is rising among the public in Geneva. Concerns started on Thursday morning when Geneva’s authorities revealed that they had been notified by Bern of the likely presence in the Geneva region of several terrorist suspects. The unfolding of events is set out below.
Thursday 10 December 2015 at 11:57. The Geneva authorities revealed that they had been notified by Bern the previous afternoon of the likely presence in the Geneva region of several terrorist suspects.
13:40. The risk of terrorism is deemed serious and imminent by Geneva’s authorities, according to several sources. Geneva’s police force and partners increase the level of alert and actively search for the individuals described in the information supplied by Bern.
According to Tribune de Genève sources, a Belgian registered utility vehicle entered Switzerland on Tuesday night with two men aboard. Then it was spotted in Geneva before leaving Switzerland. This information was concerning enough to issue a warning to Geneva’s Jewish community.
In addition, four men considered to be Islamic State sympathisers, likely to be in Geneva are sought. It’s not known if they are linked to the individuals in the van.
14:00. All high risk locations linked to international organisations, the airport and train stations are placed under high alert. The Palais des Nations has been under a state of alert since Wednesday evening. Since Thursday morning security has been strengthened, particularly around main access points. UN guards have been given machine guns and bulletproof vests.
14:10. “We have gone from a vague threat to a specific threat” declared Emmanuelle Lo Verso, a spokesman for the Department of Security and the Economy to the Tribune de Genève. The level of alert was immediately raised in Geneva. “The number of patrols has been increased as we are in a highly active phase of search. The threat is now specific” he adds.
14:40. It is revealed that a photo of the four suspects linked to Islamic State was released to Geneva’s security forces on Wednesday.
15:25. Alerted Wednesday in the early evening of a terrorist threat by Swiss authorities, UN security services say they requested help and conducted a detailed inspection of all its buildings. The UN could be a target for terrorists wanting to strike a symbol. At this time there is no information indicating that the Palais des Nations is targeted by the terrorist suspects. However tomorrow (Friday 11 December 2015) there is a meeting of US, Russian and UN representatives regarding Syria in Geneva. The location of the meeting was not communicated. Instructions have been given not to take any photos of armed security personnel from inside UN buildings.
15:34. The American intelligence service transmits information on the individuals sought by the Swiss authorities. The names of four men considered to be Islamic State sympathisers appear in a note that Tribune de Genève was able to see. In addition the three cities of Geneva, Toronto and Chicago are mentioned as being currently threatened.
15:43. Tribune de Genève confirms that discussions planned in Geneva tomorrow(Friday 11 December 2015) between representatives of the US, Russia and the United Nations regarding Syria will not take place at the Palais des Nations. The exact location of the meeting will not be divulged.
16:00. The judiciary announces that “The public prosecutor has opened criminal proceedings for preparations to carry out criminal acts” based on information provided by the police.
17:50. Concerned individuals advise by SMS and social networks not to visit public places in Geneva until further notice. No advice of this nature has been communicated by the Department of Security and the Economy according to Tribune de Genève.
- Four terrorist risks threatening Switzerland (Le News – 16.11.15)
18:35. The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland also opens a criminal inquiry based on the terrorist threat in the Geneva region, announces the Swiss federal administration. The communiqué mentions that “The federal authorities are closely coordinating their efforts with those of the police and judiciary in Geneva.”
19:02. In the face of the terrorist threat the airport, train station and shopping centres are subject to extreme vigilance however monitoring is not systematic.
20:45. There was a minor scare for passengers on Geneva’s public transport at the Rive roundabout. Shortly before 20:00, while traffic was blocked, witnesses heard an explosion however it turned out to be the police anti-bomb squad disposing of a suspicious bag with its bomb defusing robot.
Full Tribune de Genève article (in French)
Geneva’s department of security and the economy statement (in French)
A short summary of a similar article in the newspaper Le Temps entitled Geneva finds itself on the terrorism map says:
- The Swiss Federal prosecutor said on Thursday night it had opened an inquiry related to the possible preparation of terrorist attacks in Geneva.
- Following investigations after the killing in Paris, Geneva police are actively searching for at least four people considered dangerous.
- An individual seen recently in Geneva is said to be a friend of Salah Abdeslam, one of the authors of the Paris attacks.
- The authorities fear a terrorist threat targeted at a diplomatic meeting related to Syria. The meeting planned to take place at the Palais des Nation is moved to a secret location.
This Le Temp article was lasted updated on Thursday evening.