Two Swiss residents linked to terrorism

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The Independent Online

Swiss authorities are investigating two people suspected of being linked to a string of deadly terrorist attacks in Turkey last November.

Two Swiss-resident foreign citizens were the target of the inquiry, said Hansjuerg Mark Wiedmer, a spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor's Office. He refused to identify them further. Mr Wiedmer also declined to comment on a report in the weekly NZZ am Sonntag, which claimed that the pair were Turkish citizens who had sought asylum in Switzerland and were leading members of a Turkish militant group known as the Islamic Great Eastern Raiders' Front.

The Front has claimed responsibility for the Istanbul suicide truck bombings jointly with Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida network, but Turkish authorities do not believe the organisation was involved.

Sixty-two people died and about 700 were injured in the four truck bombings in Istanbul. The attackers struck two synagogues on 15 November, and the British Consulate and the HSBC Bank five days later.

On 8 January Swiss police detained eight purported supporters of al-Qa'ida, holding them on suspicion of providing logistical support to a criminal organisation because of alleged links to attackers who bombed Western residential compounds in Saudi Arabia last year.

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