Geneva raises security alert, authorities looking for terror suspects

A Geneva police staff holds his position at Geneva International airport in Geneva. © Denis Balibouse
Geneva officials have raised the security alert level and are looking for people with possible "links to terrorism."

"In the framework of investigations carried out following the Paris attacks, at the international and national level, Geneva police and their partners are actively looking for people whose description has been provided by the Swiss Confederation," the Geneva Department of Security said in a statement.

The department added that the Geneva police "have increased their level of vigilance and reinforced the number of police agents on the ground."

Police have received a photo of four terror suspects connected with the Islamic State militants, according to local media. The Tribune de Genève reported on Thursday that security forces had also spotted two other suspects in Geneva, who weren’t in the photo.

Swiss police have arrested a terror suspect who was driving a grey Renault Clio with French plates, an Italian witness told Le Matin. The arrest was made in Geneva at 1.15pm local time, the Swiss newspaper reported.

A security guard at the United Nations Office told Reuters that Swiss authorities are looking for “four guys” believed to be in the area.

Another guard said the UN compound was on maximum alert. Guards were stationed with MP5 sub-machine guns at entry points for cars, a highly unusual measure.

It was previously speculated that authorities were searching for people with links to the November 13 Paris attacks which killed 130 people and injured 352 others. However, Swiss authorities later stated that they have no information linking the suspects to the attacks.

The heightened alert comes after authorities in Brussels made numerous arrests while the city was placed on lockdown last month.

Meanwhile, the search for Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the Paris attacks, continues. A source close to the investigation told CNN in late November that the Belgian-born French national is believed to have possibly escaped to Syria.