ISIS supporter jailed for department store stabbing in Switzerland

Federal criminal court convicts Swiss-Italian woman of attempted murder and ties to banned group

A police car in the area where a stabbing occurred in the department store, in Lugano, Switzerland, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Swiss authorities are investigating as a possible terror attack the stabbing of two women in an department store in the southern city of Lugano, and a suspect has been arrested. Officials said one of the victims sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries, while the other sustained minor injuries. (Ti-Press/Keystone via AP)
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Switzerland's federal criminal court on Monday convicted a Swiss-Italian woman of attempted murder and ties to the terrorist group ISIS after she stabbed two women in a department store.

The attacker, who is in her late 20s but was not identified by name, was sentenced to nine years in prison.

The verdict comes after a four-day trial in Bellinzona over the November 24, 2020, attack in the Manor chain department store in the southern Swiss city of Lugano.

The suspect was quickly detained and the two women who were attacked — seemingly at random — survived. Regional police said at the time that one had suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries, and the other had minor injuries.

In its ruling, the court said the attacker had used a knife to try to decapitate the victims “while praising ISIS".

“For the court, the defendant acted with a total absence of scruples, a particularly odious motive and goal, and showed no signs of wanting to repent or make serious apologies, either during the investigation or court proceedings,” the court said.

The attack was a rare instance of violence linked to Islamist extremism in Switzerland, which was largely spared the wave of such violence that has hit other countries in Europe and around the world over the past two decades.

The attacker was also convicted by the court of "repeated illegal practice of prostitution," the court said. Regulated prostitution is allowed in Switzerland.

Updated: September 19, 2022, 12:21 PM