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Jean-Paul Rouiller: Switzerland hotbed of Islamist network.

Mr Jean-Paul Rouiller

Mr Jean-Paul Rouiller

Switzerland could be a nest of  Islamist militants grown up in the country, according to a senior security expert.

Jean-Paul Rouiller of the GCSP Geneva Centre for Security Policy told the Tribune de Genève newspaper that he is convinced that Switzerland will play a more important role than in the past, when the country was considered merely a place of transit for terrorists in Europe.

He says a growing number of jihadists born in Switzerland are to be found around in the Lake Geneva region, mainly in two cities: Zurich and in Bienne/Biel, a bilingual town north of the Swiss capital Bern.

Jean Paul Rouiller adds that key jihadi figures in Switzerland have links with like minded people abroad, and he estimates that the number of Swiss jihadists that traveled to conflict regions, notably to Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, between 2001 and February this year are at about 100.

The GCSP analyst believes a total of up to 1,000 people in Switzerland could be involved in supporting Islamic militants.