The Origins of International Counterterrorism

Switzerland at the Forefront of Crisis Negotiations, Multilateral Diplomacy, and Intelligence Cooperation (1969-1977)


Switzerland suffered four major terrorist attacks in 1969 and 1970, which forced the Swiss government to address the issue of international terrorism for the first time. Subsequently, “neutral” Switzerland worked closely with Western Cold War powers to develop international counterterrorism measures and forged a European-Israeli counterterrorist alignment to counter Palestinian terrorism in Europe.
Using recently declassified archival records, this book is the first study to examine how the Swiss government positioned the country within the international struggle against terrorism. The book brings to light the creation of the Club de Berne, a secret European network of intelligence agencies connected to Israel and the United States. It offers new insights about the history of Swiss, Western European, and Israeli security cooperation.

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Aviva Guttmann, Ph.D. (2016), is a Research Fellow at King’s College London, Department of War Studies. Her research is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). She has been a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University – SAIS Europe
 From Bystander to Shaper of European Counterterrorism Cooperation
 Method and Sources
 Defining “Terrorism”
 International Terrorism and the Global Cold War
 State Security and the Culture of the Cold War in Switzerland
Part 1. Compliance, Coordination, and Censorship: Switzerland’s Response to Palestinian and Brazilian Terrorism
1 Switzerland and Palestinian Terrorism: The 1969 Kloten Airport Attack and the 1970 Skyjack Sunday
 Meticulously Prepared Crisis Mismanagement
 Swiss Policymakers’ Role during the Crisis Management
 Summary of Swiss Reactions to Palestinian Terrorism
2 Switzerland and Brazilian Terrorism: The Abduction of Ambassador Bucher (1970–71)
 After Zarqa, Now Rio
 First Round in the “War of the Nerves”—Unmaking of Swiss Policy
 Second Round in the “War of the Nerves”—Limited Options
 The Protracted Last Phase of the Crisis
 Controlling the Kidnapping’s Media Coverage
 The Swiss Authorities’ Threat Evaluation after the “Bucher Crisis”
 Summary of Swiss Reactions to Brazilian Terrorism
Conclusions of Part 1: A Comparison of Crisis Management
Part 2. At the Forefront through the Backdoor: Switzerland’s Counterterrorism Diplomacy
 The Working Group on Terrorism and its Context
 The WGT: The Start of Swiss Counterterrorism Policymaking
3 Swiss Counterterrorism Diplomacy at the ICAO: “An Elegant Way of Doing Nothing”
 Preparations for Rome: Constructive Obstruction
 The Limit of Enhancing Aviation Security Laws
4 Swiss Counterterrorism Diplomacy at the UN: A Fastidiously Balanced Position
 Drafting of the Swiss Position at the UN
 The Swiss Position at the UN
 UN Counterterrorism Efforts Deadlocked
5 Swiss Counterterrorism Diplomacy at the CoE: Experts “Making” Foreign Policy
 The “Non-Beginning” of the Convention
 The ECCP Accelerates the Process
 New Terrorist Attacks, Renewed Counterterrorism Efforts
 The Police against the Rest: Inner Swiss Negotiations
 Revision, Fast-Track, and Finalisation of the ECST
 France against the Rest: The CoE Negotiations
 French Decision-Making: Worrying About the Third World
 Reinsertion of the Political Offence Clause
 ECST: Success or Dead Letter?
 The WGT: An Overview
Conclusions of Part 2: Swiss Counterterrorism Policymaking in Multilateral Fora
Part 3. In Defiance of Neutrality: Switzerland’s Secret Counterterrorism Cooperation
 The Club de Berne
6 A Secret Counterterrorism Alliance: Intelligence-Sharing within the Club de Berne (1971–1972)
 Suspect Profiling: The Conspicuous Traveller
 Political Activists as Terrorist Suspects
 Tracing Terrorist Organisations
 Terrorist Innovations in Weaponry and Tactics
 Perpetrated Terrorist Attacks and the Lessons Learnt
 Threat Assessments and Concrete Warnings
 Summary of One Year of Kilowatt Cooperation
Conclusions of Part 3: A Glimpse into the Club de Berne in the 1980s
 Crisis Management Shaping Swiss Counterterrorism Policy
 Swiss Counterterrorism Policymaking in the 1970s
 Swiss Counterterrorism Intelligence Cooperation
 Research Avenues and Reflections
 How and Why Countries Cooperated
 No Democratic Oversight
 Politics of the Latest Outrage
 Swiss Neutrality and Relations with the Third World
 Further Research in Terrorism Studies
 Summary and Outlook
 Appendix 1: PFLP Propaganda Material
 Appendix 2: UN Resolution 3034, 18.12.1972
 Appendix 3: European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, 27.01.1977
Anyone interested in understanding counterterrorism history of the 1970s and anyone seeking new insight into the Global Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the role of neutrals in this context.
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