Government invests in anti-radicalisation projects

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The Swiss government has approved a CHF5 million ($5 million) financial contribution to a national programme aimed at preventing radicalisation and violent extremism.

The funds, to be spent over five years, are to help kickstart projects to raise awareness, provide counselling and launch information campaigns. This will be done in collaboration with cantonal and municipal authorities as well as civil society, according to the Federal Police Office.

The principles of the programme were agreed on and announced last December.

+ Swiss invest in early warning and training measures

The programme is part of a three-pronged action plan to combat the spread of violent extremism.

Moves are also underway to toughen the laws and penalties against such acts.

Canton Zurich last year launched a strategy including police coordinating its efforts with local authorities, schools, youth organisations and social services.

Switzerland has so far escaped major acts of violent extremism as witnessed elsewhere in Europe, but there are several known hotspots of Islamist radicalisation.

The intelligence service regularly publishes figures about the number of people leaving Switzerland to engage in “jihad”, mainly in Syria and Iraq.

In total, 93 known cases are on record since 2001, but there has been no change since February according to the defence ministry.

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