EU agrees plan to combat terror recruiting

2nd December 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 December 2005, BRUSSELS — EU justice and interior ministers agreed on Thursday on methods to combat the recruitment of Europeans into terrorist groups.

2 December 2005

BRUSSELS — EU justice and interior ministers agreed on Thursday on methods to combat the recruitment of Europeans into terrorist groups.

The agreement was reached on the same day Belgian authorities charged five people with involvement in a network that sent volunteers to Iraq.

One of the volunteers, 38-year-old Muriel Degauque, blew herself up in a failed attack on US troops near Baghdad last month.

"We face a threat from people who come to Europe from the outside and we face a threat from people who live in Europe," EU anti-terror chief Gijs de Vries said.

"These threats are well known and are taken extremely seriously."

The new strategy will involve EU governments adopting the best way to combat everything from internet sites promoting extremist Islamic ideas to fostering better community relations with Muslim groups.

"We need to spot such behavior by, for example, community policing, and effective monitoring of the internet and of travel to conflict zones," the strategy said.

Ministers adopted the strategy at talks on counter terror measures. The strategy is one of 12 priority measures being fast-tracked by EU governments.

One of the most contentious of the planned measures is an EU agreement on Friday compelling mobile phone companies to retain call and internet records for use in anti-terror investigations.

Records will be kept for up to two years under the new rules, which need to be approved by the European Parliament.

Police will have access to information about calls, SMS messages and internet data, but not the exact call content.

Justice and interior ministers agreed governments can decide how long to hold data, ranging from six months to two years.

Other measures up for discussion include a European Evidence Warrant and better exchange of intelligence.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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