Swiss accuse man of running media agency for Islamic State and al Qaeda


Zurich (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors in Switzerland have accused a man of running a “media agency” to promote al Qaeda and Islamic State via social media and raising money to help escape attempts by supporters of the extremist groups.

The 26-year-old man, who lived in the northern canton of Schaffhausen, is also accused of encouraging another person to go to the Middle East to join the organisations, which are banned in Switzerland.

The Turkish citizen, who has not been named, has been indicted following an investigation launched in October 2019, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said on Tuesday.

“The OAG accuses the suspect of having encouraged a person who was a minor at the time of the crime to approve of the ideology of the Islamic State (IS) and of having furthered this person’s decision to travel to territory held by the IS and to join the IS there,” the OAG said in a statement.

This person, who lived in Austria, was arrested by the Austrian authorities shortly before his planned departure for Syria, the OAG said.

The suspect was also accused of operating his own ‘media agency’ translating and spreading propaganda from IS and Al-Qaeda.

He had also saved numerous files with videos and pictures showing banned representations of acts of violence and had sent one such image to another person, the OAG said.

The OAG also accuses the suspect of providing material support to IS by collecting money via a donation platform. He allegedly intended to send the cash to IS supporters in a prison camp in Syria to enable them to escape.

The case has now been referred to the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona, the OAG said.

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