The terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) planned to blow up the huge gas station in Vernier near Geneva Cointrin Airport. However, as reported by the newspaper “Le Temps”, the federal intelligence service (NDB) was able to thwart the attack. The trail of the perpetrators led to Geneva – more precisely to the Grand Mosque in the Le Petit-Saconnex district.
According to “Le Temps”, Daniel D., P.F. and Ramzi met in 2014. All three struggle with similar problems: unemployment, school failure, integration problems. Of the three, only Ramzi is Muslim, speaks Arabic. The trio meets regularly in the mosque, it is radicalized.
While videos of decapitations came to the public in 2014 and international media reported on the territorial conquests of the IS terrorist militia in Iraq and Syria, the three young converts dream of jihad. “We felt anger and jihad was a good excuse to express our violence,” says a member of the gang, now in his mid-30s, about “Le Temps”.
The man remembers well the 25 year old Daniel D. from Lignon: «He was very social. I would say he was a pretty good guy. He had a sports car and sometimes drove me home. Every now and then we went to the café to chat. »
At the end of 2014, Daniel D. and P. F. travel to Mecca with around ten other mosque-goers. The trip brings Daniel D. and Ramzi together in particular. After returning to Switzerland in mid-January 2015, the two make a plan: they want to go to Syria, to IS. On April 21, the time has come: one of them travels via Tunisia, the other via Turkey. After that, there is a long silence before they report back to their colleagues in Geneva – with photos in which they proudly pose with their weapons.
Daniel D. and Ramzi are received and trained by the Amniyat secret service. They are particularly responsible for operations abroad – especially in Europe – writes «Le Temps». Daniel D., who has now been given the battle name Abu Ilias al-Swisri, and Ramzi work closely together. They even share a cell phone. Ramzi is more responsible for media work, Daniel D. belongs to an elite unit.
Over time, the two men from Switzerland climb the career ladder of the Amniyat. On the one hand because their “talents” are recognized, on the other hand because their superiors die in the struggle. In 2016, Daniel D. first proposed an attack in Geneva.
P.F., who had not traveled to Syria, is slowly becoming impatient in Geneva. He exchanges views with Daniel D. a few times, saying how much he would like to travel to him. Daniel D. convinced him to stay in Switzerland. The IS needs men who spread terror abroad, D. is said to have said to F. In one of the last messages, it becomes concrete: Ramzi and Daniel D. should look for targets of attack and plan assassinations, the terrorist militia would deliver the material and take care of the logistics.
The collaboration between Daniel D. and P.F. but never takes place because there is a dispute between the two men. D. accuses F. of being a “Kufr”, an unbeliever. So Daniel D. tries to find a new partner. He comes into contact with Adnan B. and Damien G., two Vauds who are now in a Kurdish prison camp in Syria. C. also meets Thomas C. from Aargau, who has a similar role within the Amniyat secret service.
It is unclear exactly when Daniel D. came up with the idea of blowing up the Vernier tank system. At the end of August 2018, however, the US secret services forwarded to the Swiss intelligence service NBD a dossier seized in Syria, which outlines the plan for the attack in Vernier. Daniel D. is considered one of the instigators in the documents.
The documents indicate that two Albanians should travel to Geneva to implement the plan. The men are arrested on their way to Switzerland. The Swiss secret service is also looking for local accomplices for the attack. They come across Nicolas P., a former friend of Daniel D. The latter sent Nicolas P. an audio message in the summer of 2018. In it he asked him to inform P. F. that a package was on the way to Geneva. What the content of this broadcast was remains unknown.
The Swiss secret service alerts the Geneva police. Based on the documents, the authorities assume that the attack was planned for late April or early May 2019. Police chief Monica Bonfanti takes the necessary security measures. By then, the Islamic State had long since lost its power.
NDB spokeswoman Isabelle Graber did not want to comment on “Le Temps” on the content of the article: “The intelligence service only speaks about its operational activities with the head of the Ministry of Defense and the supervisory authorities.”
Daniel D. was arrested in Syria in June 2019 and has since been held in a prison in northern Syria. In Geneva, however, the security forces remain on guard.