Conference urges cooperation to combat terrorism
The United States and interior ministers from six European countries called Saturday for greater cooperation to combat international terrorism, dpa reported.
A common approach and an effective strategy
to prevent terrorist attacks was necessary, German Interior Minister Wolfgang
Schaeuble said after a day-long meeting in Bonn.
To achieve this goal, close cooperation with the United States was indispensable, Schaeuble said.
US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was present at the gathering, along with Schaeuble and representatives from Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Poland.
The conference agreed that strategies needed to be developed in order to prevent young people from becoming radicalized, Schaeuble said.
The ministers discussed ways to stop the spread of hatred and instructions on how to carry out attacks via modern forms of communications technology such as the internet.
They agreed to set up a panel of experts to look into the legal framework for cross-border measures to access computer hard drives and other data storage equipment used by terrorist suspects.
Also under discussion was how to tighten criminal laws so they could be better used for terrorist prevention. One aspect was whether it should be made a crime to visit terrorist training camps.
This is not possible in Germany, but the country's justice ministry is in the process of drafting a law that could make it an offence in future.
Schaeuble said Germany remained a target for terrorists, but the security services were doing everything they could within the law to limit the danger and protect the country's citizens.
The meeting came a day after police hauled two terrorist suspects off a plane as it was about to leave Cologne airport in Germany for Amsterdam.
The men, a Somali and a German of Somali descent, were allegedly planning to travel via the Netherlands to a training camp for militants on the Pakistan-Afghan border.
A search of their apartment had turned up letters in which the two men in the 20s had declared their readiness to die in a jihad (holy war), security sources said.