Switzerland is a hotspot for espionage, says FIS

Switzerland is a hotspot for espionage, says FIS

A new report from the Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) has labelled Switzerland as a hotspot for spies and espionage. The agents in question often operate in embassies, consulates and as part of diplomatic envoys. 

One-third of embassy staff are agents

The report focused heavily on threats from Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies. In the case of Russia, the report stated that many of their suspected espionage acts take place through networks of embassies and consulates. According to the FIS, of the 220 Russian representatives in Switzerland, around one-third are suspected of working for Russian intelligence services.

The report states that Switzerland is one of the European countries with the most foreign agents, likely due to the large number of influential IGOs and NGOs that are based across Swiss cities like Geneva, Lausanne, Bern and Zurich.  

Terror and cyber attacks a growing threat in Switzerland

Aside from the concerns about espionage, the report also warned of the growing risk of significant disruption caused by cyber-attacks and the potential for terrorist attacks across the country. The report details that the country’s risk of a terror attack remains high and continues to increase.

The risk to critical infrastructure through cyber-attacks remains raised, especially since the start of the war in Ukraine. One of the biggest concerns held by the Swiss government is said to be the risk of a "spillover event," where according to SRF, Switzerland could fall victim to an attack targeting Ukraine or its allies.

Thumb image credit: Michael Derrer Fuchs /

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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