Swiss officials have announced that the country is banning the Islamic State and related entities from their lands.
The ban went into effect on Wednesday, when the Swiss cabinet voted to forbid Islamic State membership for at least six months. The ban disallows providing information or soliciting funds and recruiting for the jihadi terror group. Authorities said that doing so may result in three years in jail or a fine. The seven-member Swiss cabinet released a statement, which said that the Islamic State’s “massive human rights violations” have forced the country, which is known for its unapologetic neutrality, to act in order to assure its national security.
The government released a statement after ruling on the issue: “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.”
Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service has estimated that around twenty-five Swiss nationals have left their home country for the jihad in Iraq and Syria.
Switzerland has in its past only banned two organizations, the Nazi Party and Al Qaeda. The Nazi Party ban was instituted in the 1930s, while outlawing Al Qaeda happened shortly after the 9/11/2001 attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Local media reported in September that three Iraqi nationals were detained in Switzerland in March for planning jihadist attacks. They were said to also be facilitating the transfer of some 40 Swiss citizens into the MIddle East to join the Islamic State’s jihad in Syria and Iraq.