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Spain sinks Swiss plan to withdraw citizenship of terror suspect

Switzerland has been foiled in its desire to cancel the citizenship of a terror suspect currently being held in a jail in Syria. The migration office did not know that Spain has acted faster in withdrawing the passport of the dual citizen, reports Swiss public broadcaster SRF.

This means that Switzerland cannot also turn its back on the terror suspect, known as Daniel D, as it would leave him stateless.

A letter seen by SRF, dated mid-June, suggests that a months-long process by the State Secretariat for Migration to cancel Daniel D’s citizenship has been in vain. It appears that Spain stripped him of citizenship in 2015.

The Swiss migration office said it would not comment on individual cases. The Spanish embassy to Bern had previously told SRF that Spain had withdrawn citizenship, but the letter from the Swiss migration office now confirms that it has ended its own process.

Born in Geneva to Swiss and Spanish parents, Daniel D was dubbed “Switzerland’s most dangerous Jihadist” by counter-terrorism experts after leaving Switzerland in 2015 to join Islamic State. He was reportedly captured by Syrian forces in June of last year when he was aged 24.

The condition of Daniel D, also known by his alias Abu Ilias al-Swissri, is unclear as he has little contact with the outside world from his cell in Syria.

Although Spain and Switzerland cooperate on anti-terrorism measures, communication between the two countries on this case appears to have been limited.