AFP, published on Thursday, September 01, 2022 at 11:01 am
The Swiss prosecutor’s office on Thursday demanded 14 years in prison against the Swiss woman who tried to slaughter two women in a department store in 2020 on behalf of the jihadist group Islamic State, considering that the mental problems from which she suffers are not incompatible with “terrorism “.
However, the prosecutor, Elisabetta Tizzoni, asked that the sentence of 14 years of “imprisonment” be “suspended” so that the accused undergoes medical treatment in a closed center as long as the risk of recidivism remains.
“Madness does not depend on the man but on the cause”, were the first words of the prosecutor, at the opening of her indictment at the federal criminal court in Bellinzona (south).
“Act of madness or terrorism? The two hypotheses are not mutually exclusive,” she continued, arguing that a person suffering from mental problems “may be capable of committing a terrorist act”.
Switzerland has not experienced a major jihadist attack but two knife attacks in 2020.
On November 24, 2020, the accused – 28 years old at the time of the events and a convert to Islam – attempted to slaughter two women in a department store in Lugano, an Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, after buying a knife there.
One of the victims, seriously injured in the neck, is a civil party and claims 440,000 Swiss francs (450,000 euros).
The second, injured in one hand, managed to control the assailant with other people.
“The accused brought terrorism to our doorstep. (…) This is a symbolic case for our country,” said the prosecutor.
In this case, she continued, “the accused committed a terrorist attack with a bladed weapon”, before striking out: she “wanted to kill, without scruple and without pity, not one but several victims in the name of a violent ideology”.
According to the experts called to the bar this week by the court, the accused suffers from mild mental retardation and a kind of schizophrenia and presents a risk of recidivism.
The defense should rely on his mental state to refute the “terrorist” motive.
During the attack, the young woman repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” and “I will avenge the Prophet Muhammad”, and declared “I am here for IS”, in reference to the jihadist group Islamic State, according to the indictment.
She is on trial for “repeated assassination attempts” and violation of the article of federal law prohibiting the jihadist groups Al-Qaeda and Islamic State. She is also being prosecuted for practicing prostitution without declaring it between 2017 and 2020.
She “wanted to spread fear and dread, but also to spread the message of the Islamic State”, affirmed the prosecutor.
The verdict could fall on September 19 and the parties will be able to appeal.
– Christmas –
During her interrogation by the court this week, the accused, born of a Swiss father and a Serbian mother, did not show any remorse, and even assured that if she had to do it again, she would do it again but “better … with accomplices”.
It was on social networks that she discovered jihadism and the Islamic State group several years ago, posting messages and photos on the subject herself. She assured that she had already expressed on these networks her desire to organize an attack.
She explained that she wanted to act on December 24, before opting for November 24, fearing that there would be too much security on Christmas Eve.
She had long been keen, she insisted, to “do something for the Islamic State” and prove that she could commit a “terrorist act”.
It is also on these networks that she “fell in love” in 2017 with a jihadist fighter in Syria, whom she tried to join before being arrested at the Turkish-Syrian border and sent back to Switzerland, then placed in a psychiatric institution.
Followed by psychologists at a very young age, the young woman suffered from epileptic seizures during childhood and anorexia during adolescence. She is imprisoned in early execution of sentence, and benefits from medical treatment.
She explained that she became pregnant at 17 from her future husband, of Afghan origin, whom she married at 19 and from whom she ended up divorcing in 2021.