Tribune de Genève.
The results of an investigation by the newspaper Tages-Anzeiger show where those identified as jihadists are based.
Statistics published in May 2017 by Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service (FIS), show an estimated 88 individuals motivated by jihad had travelled from Switzerland since 2001. 74 are thought to have gone to Syria and Iraq, 13 to Somalia and 1 to Afghanistan or Pakistan. Of the total, 30 are Swiss citizens, and 16 were confirmed dead. The FIS did not give any information on the identity, age, gender or location of these people other than estimating that 14 had returned to Switzerland of which 11 had been confirmed.
The two-year investigation by Tages-Anzeiger, published last week, put together a list of 72 radicalised individuals, of which it thinks 64 left for war zones to join groups such as Al-Qaida and so-called Islamic State. Of this total, 13 are thought to be dead and 15 to have returned to Switzerland.
According to Tages-Anzeiger, radicalised individuals are concentrated in certain Swiss towns. The town with the greatest number is Winterthur (12). Next is Lausanne (9), followed by Geneva (5). The other Swiss towns making the top five are Bienne (4) and Arbon (4). Individuals in Zurich and Thurgau are thought to be closely connected.
In addition, it found that radicalisation was driven mainly by charismatic figures and done within closed circles linked to mosques, with the internet playing almost no role in the process. The investigation also found that 11 on their list were involved with the organisation “Lis!“, which distributes copies of the Quran on the street, and is linked to an organisation that has been banned in Germany.
Tages-Anzeiger said the majority (89%) are from families that immigrated from the balkans or north Africa, and only 25 have Swiss passports. The group generally has little education, with some having dropped out of school or apprenticeships. Other common threads are psychological problems, unemployment, and dependence on welfare.
The average age is 26, with ages ranging from 15 to 48. The split between men and women is equal,