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Seven Detained in Alleged Plot to Shoot Down Airliner in Switzerland


Swiss prosecutors say they have detained seven people in connection with an alleged plot to shoot down an Israeli airliner in Geneva.

The Federal Prosecutor's Office Thursday did not identify those arrested on May 12 by name or nationality, but prosecutors said they came from North Africa.

Israeli and Swiss media had previously reported that a terrorist cell planned to launch a rocket attack on an El Al passenger plane during takeoff or landing in Geneva. Prosecutors have not confirmed those reports, but for a week in December El Al flights bound for Geneva were diverted to Zurich.

Prosecutors say the members of the cell had ties to similar cells in France and Spain, and authorities in those countries helped in the investigation.

Authorities also said one member of the Swiss cell had contacts with Mohammed Achraf who faces charges in Spain for plotting to bomb Spain's highest court.

Switzerland extradited Achraf to Spain in 2004.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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