Assailant in Swiss knife attack was jihadist, say police

From Swiss Info

A Swiss woman who knifed a victim in the neck and grabbed another by the throat in a department store in the Swiss city of Lugano on Tuesday was a known jihadist who fell in love with a militant online and tried to meet him in Syria, say police.

Federal prosecutors have called the incident in the Italian-speaking southern canton of Ticino a suspected terrorist attack and taken charge of the investigation.

“Police investigations in 2017 revealed that the woman had formed a relationship via social media with a jihadist fighter from Syria,” the Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) tweeted on Wednesday.

Turkish authorities turned her back from the border to Syria when she tried to travel there to meet the man and returned her to Switzerland at the time, it said. “The woman was suffering from mental health problems at this time. After returning to Switzerland, she was admitted to a psychiatric clinic,” Fedpol said, 

The suspect, a 28-year-old who lives in the area, was in custody after passersby subdued her until police could arrive. None of the injuries to the victims are life-threatening. Fedpol director Nicoletta della Valle told a news conference that it was “too early” to draw any links between the incident in Lugano and other attacks. An investigation is currently underway into the fatal stabbing of a Portuguese national in Morges in western Switzerland in September. If found to be a terrorist act, it would be the first such incident recorded in Switzerland since 2011. A Swiss-Turkish national has been arrested.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz condemned the attack on twitter. “I fully condemn today’s Islamist terrorist attack in Lugano. My thoughts are with the victims wishing them a full & swift recovery. We stand with Switzerland in these difficult hours. We’ll give a joint response to Islamist terrorism in Europe and defend our values,” Kurz said.



2 Responses

  1. I can see it now, the musical comedy, “A Jihadist In Love,” with a chorus of murderous mentors humming (no music allowed) imbecilically, “Gimme A Pair o’ Dice For My Gamble Gambol for Paradise.”

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