(dpa) - European Union justice ministers on Friday agreed that the online publication of bomb recipes and calls to commit terrorism should be counted as criminal offences.
The agreement gives EU member states' initial blessing to a proposal from the European Commission that internet-based provocation to commit a terrorist attack, training for terrorism and recruitment to terrorist organizations all be punishable with prison sentences.
The commission's proposal would also allow EU law-enforcement agencies to demand cooperation from internet providers in order to identify the people making such calls and make sure the offending material is taken off-line.
On June 13, 2002, the EU's member states agreed on common rules for fighting terrorism by harmonizing both national definitions of terror offences and national penalties for committing them.
However, those rules did not include internet-based calls to commit terror attacks. The EU's executive, the European Commission, on November 6 proposed amending the rules to close that loophole.
Friday's agreement of EU ministers means that, while some details of the proposal need to be finalized, member states back the basic principle and are therefore unlikely to oppose its adoption.