Swiss indict 2 for alleged ties to Daesh recruitment ring

The two allegedly trained with a group in Switzerland and France before traveling to Turkey in late 2015. (File/AFP)
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Updated 06 July 2020

Swiss indict 2 for alleged ties to Daesh recruitment ring

  • The two face charges linked to a ban on radical groups like Daesh and Al-Qaeda
  • Prosecutors will say what penalties they are asking for when the case is heard in Swiss federal criminal court

GENEVA: Swiss federal prosecutors said Monday they have indicted two men alleged to have tried to join up with extremists in territory once held by the Daesh group in Syria and Iraq.
A Swiss-Tunisian dual national, who is accused of having recruited Daesh members, and a Swiss co-defendant face charges linked to a ban on radical groups like Daesh and Al-Qaeda. They allegedly trained with a group in Switzerland and France before traveling to Turkey in late 2015.
In Turkey, they stayed in an Daesh safe house until they were stopped from entering Syria by Turkish authorities, the Attorney General’s office said in a statement. They were returned to Switzerland in the summer of 2016, and temporarily placed in pretrial detention.
The two men were late released subject to unspecified “alternative measures,” the statement said. Such measures can include bail, handover of passports, movement restrictions and the need to regularly check in with authorities.
Swiss prosecutors are currently conducting some 70 criminal proceedings linked to “jihadist-motivated terrorism,” mostly involving propaganda, recruitment and financing of radical groups, the office said. Switzerland did not face any major violent extremist attacks like those other parts of Europe during the heyday of IS in the mid-2010s.
The two men were not identified. Prosecutors will say what penalties they are asking for when the case is heard in Swiss federal criminal court.


700 tons of ammonium nitrate stuck in Indian port

Updated 9 min 50 sec ago

700 tons of ammonium nitrate stuck in Indian port

  • Indian authorities ordered a review of all potentially hazardous materials in its ports and were alerted to 690 tons of ammonium nitrate in Chennai in southern India
  • Thirty-seven containers of the compound were imported from South Korea in 2015 by an Indian firm for use in fertilizers but were seized after the substance was found to be explosives-grade

NEW DELHI: Almost 700 tons of ammonium nitrate, the substance that caused the mega-explosion in Lebanon, has been stuck in an Indian port since 2015, officials confirmed.
At least 153 people died and more than 5,000 were injured when 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate languishing for years in Beirut’s port caused a colossal blast.
Indian authorities afterwards ordered a review of all potentially hazardous materials in its ports and were alerted to 690 tons of ammonium nitrate in Chennai in southern India.
Thirty-seven containers of the compound were imported from South Korea in 2015 by an Indian firm for use in fertilizers but were seized after the substance was found to be explosives-grade.
The local customs department on Thursday sought to allay concerns, saying that the chemicals posed no danger and that an auction process to sell it off was under way.
“The seized chemical is securely stored and the safety of the cargo and public is ensured considering the hazardous nature of the substance,” a statement said.
Ammonium nitrate is an odourless crystalline salt that has been the cause of numerous industrial explosions over the decades.
When combined with fuel oils, it creates a potent explosive widely used in the construction industry, but also in homemade bombs such as those used in the 1995 Oklahoma City attack.
Many European Union nations require ammonium nitrate to be mixed with calcium carbonate to make a safer compound.
Industrial disasters are common in India. In May, styrene gas leaked from a factory in southern India, killing 15 people.
In 1984, toxic methyl isocyanate leaked from a pesticide factory in Bhopal, killing 3,500 people — and thousands more in the years afterwards — in one of the worst industrial disasters in history.