Swiss woman shows no remorse in ‘IS’ knife attack trial

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From the Daily Times, an English language Pakistani newspaper

A Swiss woman undergoing psychiatric treatment showed no remorse on Monday when she went on trial accused of trying to murder two women in the name of Islamic State.

“If I could go back, I would do it better… with accomplices,” the 29-year-old Muslim told Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court.

She said she had planned for “months, years” to “do something for the Islamic State (IS)” jihadist group and show that she was also “capable of carrying out a terrorist act”.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of committing a “terrorist act” on November 24, 2020 — a knife attack in the plush Manor department store in Lugano in southern Switzerland’s Italian-speaking Ticino region.

One of the two victims suffered a serious neck injury. The second sustained wounds on one hand and managed, with others, to control the assailant until the police arrived.

The woman was flanked by police officers as she appeared in court in Bellinzona, also in Ticino.

A photograph of the neck injury was shown to the court, where the victim was attending the trial.

“It didn’t go as deeply as I thought,” the accused woman observed . . .

According to the indictment issued by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, the accused “acted wilfully and with particular ruthlessness”.

It is alleged that she shouted “Allahu akbar (God is greatest)” several times and “I will avenge the Prophet Mohammed”, and declared “I am here for IS”.

The daughter of a Swiss father and a Serbian mother, the woman said she suffered epileptic seizures during her early childhood, while her adolescence was marked by anorexia.

The woman has been held in custody ahead of the trial.

She has been in contact with psychologists and psychiatrists since her childhood, and indicated that she is currently being seen in prison, where she is undergoing treatment that makes her “nervous”.

She said she became pregnant at 17 by her future husband, a man of Afghan origin, whom she married aged 19. The pair divorced last year.

She was unwilling to take care of the baby, which was adopted by her parents. The suspect is primarily charged with attempted murder and violation of laws against association with Al-Qaeda, IS and related Islamist groups. She is also charged with repeated unlawful prostitution between 2017 and 2020.

The woman was known to the police before the Manor attack took place. After falling in love over social media in 2017 with a jihadist fighter in Syria, she had attempted to travel to the war-torn country to meet him, but was stopped by Turkish authorities at the Syrian border and sent back to Switzerland, it is alleged.

The trial, being conducted in Italian, is set to last until Thursday, and the verdict is expected on September 19.

 

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