The Swiss Connection : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Nando Times

BERN, Switzerland (September 16, 2001 11:59 a.m. EDT) - One of the accused hijackers in last week's terror attacks in the United States purchased two knives in Switzerland, the country's justice ministry said Sunday.

Ministry spokesman Victor Schlumpf said "one of the prime suspects" had used a credit card to buy two knives. He refused to give details or identify the suspect.

However, the SonntagsBlick newspaper said that Mohammed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, who allegedly were among the 19 hijackers, spent time in Switzerland during the summer and stayed in a Zurich hotel. It said they purchased pocket knives and cardboard cutters - the weapons used to commandeer four passenger jetliners on Tuesday.

The two men were both natives of the United Arab Emirates and lived and studied in the German city of Hamburg.

Swiss authorities have launched a formal investigation in the wake of the attacks to see if any groups of Islamic extremists are based in Switzerland. A number of Islamic groups operate humanitarian operations in the country to raise funds.

Switzerland froze all accounts linked to Afghanistan's ruling Taliban earlier this year as part of U.N. sanctions against the hardline Islamic regime for sheltering Osama bin Laden, a suspected terrorist mastermind and the prime suspect in last week's attacks. Swiss officials have said less than $600,000 was involved.

-- Rachel Gibson (, September 16, 2001


There's most often a Swiss connection to any large-scale, world-wide operation. But it's usually money.

I think it's time for the Swiss to open up their secret, numbered accounts to terrorist investigators.

-- Wellesley (, September 17, 2001.

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