Terror alert in Geneva

2015-12-10 21:28
Swiss police patrol around the European headquarters of the UN in Geneva. (Salvatore Di Nolfi, Keystone via AP)

Swiss police patrol around the European headquarters of the UN in Geneva. (Salvatore Di Nolfi, Keystone via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - Geneva was on alert on Thursday following reports that terrorists might be planning attacks in and around the city, which is home to the second largest site of the United Nations, a spokesperson for the Swiss police said.

Officers were searching for several people suspected of having links with the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, according to the spokesperson.

The suspects were believed to be either in or near Geneva, and police were working with national and international bodies in the search.

Police were focused on high-risk locations such as the buildings of international organisations, the airport, the train station and synagogues.

Formal legal proceedings had been set in motion against the terrorist suspects, the federal public prosecution service said in the capital Bern. All available information had been passed on to the security forces in Geneva, which is located on the border to France.

According to unconfirmed Swiss media reports, police were looking for five suspects after a tip-off from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that attacks might have been planned. The daily Le Matin reported that one of the suspects had been arrested.


Suspicions had been raised by an internet video showing four bearded men who might have connections to the Islamic State extremist group. The fifth suspect is said to have threatened attacks in Geneva and in the Canadian cities of Vancouver and Ottawa, according to Le Matin.

Police, citing the ongoing investigation, declined to go into deeper detail about the suspects or their connection to the Paris attacks.

They also did not confirm local media reports that the investigation was related to talks between high-ranking US and Russian officials scheduled for Friday on the conflict in Syria.

The planned talks were to prepare further peace negotiations in Syria, a UN spokesperson said. However, the talks would not take part at the UN site in Geneva, but at another undisclosed location.

Russian Vice Foreign Minister Gennadi Gatilov was among those due to attend, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported earlier.

Already several days ago security personnel and checks had been upped at the various entrances to the UN site, UN diplomats said. According to witnesses several of the UN security personnel had been carrying automatic guns, which usually only happened in high-risk situations.

A vague threat had turned into a concrete one, Emmanuelle Lo Verso, the spokesperson for the Geneva security department said without giving any further details. The department had received descriptions of several people considered as dangerous as well as the description of a car.

Swiss border police in the Geneva region were also on heightened alert. The surveillance web was very close-knit, the media spokesman for the border force, Michel Bachar, told Swiss news agency sda.

Read more on:    un  |  switzerland  |  paris under attack

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

6 myths about male cancer
Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.