Switzerland – Swiss authorities confirmed on the 31 Oct 14 that three Iraqis arrested in Mar 14 are suspected of having planned a terrorist attack in Europe on behalf of the Islamic State group. At the end of Mar 14, authorities “arrested three Iraqi citizens suspected of providing support to the criminal organisation known as the Islamic State (IS),” Switzerland's attorney general said in a statement. “They are thought to have been planning a terrorist attack in Europe,” the statement said. Swiss media reported the arrests at the end of Sep 14, saying Switzerland's Federal Intelligence Service had been tipped off by a Western counterpart which intercepted the men's phone calls. The trio, according to media reports, allegedly helped around 40 jihadists residing in Switzerland to travel to the Middle East to join IS. They also purportedly sought to procure explosives and toxic gas for an attack. It also said the three were suspected of encouraging illegal entry into Switzerland and residency in the wealthy Alpine nation. Swiss investigators, with assistance from European and US authorities, were attempting to identify possible accomplices and uncover networks both in Switzerland and elsewhere, the statement said. It added that Switzerland's top prosecutor was currently overseeing 20 probes linked to jihadist activity.
United Kingdom – Britons travelling abroad are being warned that they could be targeted by terrorists seeking revenge for UK air strikes against Islamic State extremists. The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for all destinations across the globe that British nationals faced a 'heightened threat' of attack from 'groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria'. It urges all Britons living or travelling overseas to be 'vigilant' at the current time. The FCO said that it was responding to the 'generalised threat' rather than warnings of a specific attack. The move comes after Home Secretary Theresa May announced in Aug 14 that the UK national terror threat level had been raised from 'substantial' to 'severe', meaning an attack is considered 'highly likely'. The updated FCO advice states: 'There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.' 361COMMENT: This threat can be taken for any country assisting in the coalition against the Islamic State. COMMENT ENDS