The Islamic State terrorist group, formerly known as ISIS or ISIL, was virtually unheard of just a year ago. Today, their atrocities regularly make headlines around the world, and their name is associated with massacres, beheadings, and a host of human rights violations. Switzerland, a nation known for its neutrality, has taken steps against the organization in the interest of national security. As of Thursday, the Islamic State is banned in Switzerland.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the seven-member cabinet of the Alpine country stated Wednesday that the ban would go into effect the next day for a period of at least six months, and would entail fines and prison time for any activities associated with the Islamic State. Switzerland is cracking down on all Islamic State propaganda, recruiting, and solicitation of funds to further their agenda.
According to a statement released by the Federal Council, Switzerland is taking the dramatic steps in response to the Islamic State’s “massive human rights violations,” which have forced them to act on behalf of its citizens and to maintain its “unapologetic neutrality,” reports Breitbart.
“The Islamic State group commits grave violations of human rights. Due to the escalation in its atrocities in the past few weeks, the Federal Council today decided to ban the group.”
The news comes following information from Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service that 10 of their citizens have been confirmed to be fighting for groups in Syria and Iraq, including the Islamic State. There are an additional 15 citizens who have traveled to the war-torn nations, but their role in the fighting has not been confirmed. A stated tactic of the jihadist organization is to recruit members from Muslim populations in other lands, eventually sending them back to wage jihad in their homelands.
After the Oklahoma beheading, there has been much speculation that this type tactic played a part in the crimes of Alton Nolan, based on his own statements and photos on his Facebook page that tie him to Islamic extremists, as reported by The Inquisitr, and his heavy involvement with his mosque, which has been associated with Islamic State members.
Local Swiss media report that, in March, three Iraqi men between the ages of 28 and 33 were detained and are being investigated in Switzerland on suspicion of planning jihadist attacks. The Wall Street Journal reports that the men are suspected of “possession of explosives and poisonous gases with criminal intent.” They were also in the process of working to facilitate the transfer of approximately 40 Swiss citizens to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to Breitbart.
Switzerland has banned two other organizations in their country: the Nazis in the 1930s and al Qaeda following the events of 9/11/2001. That ban is set to expire this year. However, the Swiss defense department is working on proposals to extend both the bans on al-Qaeda and the Islamic State for an additional three years.