Swiss authorities begin criminal investigations against two Syrians in Geneva

Deutsche Welle
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Swiss prosecutors say they have opened proceedings against two Syrians on suspicion of making and transporting explosives and toxic gases. A car was stopped in Geneva Friday on a road leading to neighboring France.Swiss authorities on Saturday said they had begun proceedings against the two men of Syrian origin, saying they were also accused of violating bans on militant groups such as al Qaeda and the self-declared “Islamic State” (IS).

The identities of the Syrians were not made known. Geneva prosecutor Olivier Jornot said they had not been clearly linked with four suspected jihadists sought by Swiss authorities since Wednesday.

The two Syrians were accused of the “manufacture, concealment and transport of explosives and toxic gases”, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. They had traces of explosives in their car but no toxic gas, Jornot said.

The prosecutor told a news conference Saturday that the two men, who spoke Arabic, had Syrian passports and had only recently come to Switzerland.

Geneva is home to the European headquarters of the United Nations (pictured above). The city, on the shores of the large Lake Geneva, is almost entirely enclosed by France.

Warning level raised

The office of the Swiss attorney general said Saturday the pair were arrested in conjunction with “a second criminal proceeding concerning a terror alert in the area of greater Geneva.”

The photographs of four individuals suspected of having links to IS were published by media across Switzerland on Saturday.

Geneva authorities said that the search for possible extremists was being conducted “in the context of the investigation following the Paris attacks.”

ipj/jm (AP, APFE, Reuters)

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