Swiss federal prosecutors said Monday they have indicted two men alleged to have tried to join up with jihadists in territory once held by the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq.
A Swiss-Tunisian dual national, who is accused of having recruited IS members, and a Swiss co-defendant face charges linked to a ban on radical groups like IS and al-Qaida. They allegedly trained with a group in Switzerland and France before traveling to Turkey in late 2015.
In Turkey, they stayed in an IS 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 later 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 terror attacks like those in 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.