A Swiss city that was the home of an Islamic State linked sleeper cell has announced the creation of a new centre to tackle the growing problem of radicalisation.
The city of Winterthur announced the creation of a centre to help stem the growing tide of radicalisation among young Muslims in the region.
A statement on the city’s website outlines that the centre will be a project to combat radical teachings as well as to train teachers and social workers on how to spot the signs of radicalisation.
Winterthur, which is located in the canton of Zurich, was the subject of several headlines in November last year when it was revealed that the city was home to an Islamic State linked sleeper cell.
Journalist Kurt Pelda,who is an expert on Syria, said that the city’s An’Nur mosque was directly linked to the sleeper cell saying: “A man from Winterthur became radicalised in the last few months and recently travelled to Syria.
“We do not know exactly what he has done in Syria but there is every indication it has to do with Islamic State… Islamic State has a cell in Winterhur in the An’Nur mosque, let there be no doubt.”
The creation of the anti-radicalisation centre comes after 18 months of deliberation and planning by the city and is based on a centre in nearby Zurich. However, the centre is not permanent, and will only be in operation until the end of 2018. After which, it will be used by the public to raise concerns about extremism and extremist linked violence.
Michael Künzle, mayor of Winterthur, has also said he will be visiting local mosques to speak to Muslim leaders in an effort to “strengthen mutual dialogue” between the city and the religious minority. The council stated: “It goes without saying that no quick and easy answers to this new and complex issue are possible.”
Despite Switzerland being one of the few European countries to be largely unaffected by the migrant crisis, it has managed to have had an alarming number of internal cases of Islamic extremism. In December of last year Breitbart London reported that Swiss Federal Judicial Police (PJF) stated that the current Islamist security threat was “unprecedented.”
Creator of the PJF Jean-Paul Rouiller said, “after twenty years’ experience in intelligence and counter-terrorism, this is the first time I have seen such a serious threat in Switzerland,” adding that, “one thing is clear. Switzerland and especially Geneva is threatened. And this threat is related to the Islamic State group.”
Switzerland is known to be tough on public displays of Islam, not unlike the French, and the anti-mass migration Swiss People’s Party (SVP) have surged in polls in the wake of the migrant crisis.