German parliament approves anti-terrorism database

1st December 2006, Comments 0 comments

1 December 2006, Berlin (dpa) - Germany's parliament Friday approved a law setting up a terrorism database allowing access to information on suspects for both police and the intelligence services. Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble dismissed opposition charges the law would turn Germany into a police state and said it was needed to strengthen security in view of the threat posed by terrorists. Giving both police and intelligence services equal access to personal information about suspects is a se

1 December 2006

Berlin (dpa) - Germany's parliament Friday approved a law setting up a terrorism database allowing access to information on suspects for both police and the intelligence services.

Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble dismissed opposition charges the law would turn Germany into a police state and said it was needed to strengthen security in view of the threat posed by terrorists.

Giving both police and intelligence services equal access to personal information about suspects is a sensitive issue in Germany, given abuses under both the Nazis and by communist East Germany.

Parliament also extended for five years a series of anti-terrorism laws passed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

The planned terrorist data-bank will allow police and intelligence easier access to a host of information on suspects. This includes the following:

- Membership in terrorist groups

- Firearms registration information

- Telecommunications and internet data

- Bank account and safety deposit box information

- School, university and apprenticeship data

- Family status and religious affiliation

- Information on past loss of passport or ID card

- Travel data including visits to areas suspected of housing terrorist training camps.

There is sense of urgency over the new law following a failed terrorist attack in which crude propane gas bombs were primed to explode on two German trains. The bombs were discovered by police on July 31.

A Lebanese and Syrian were arrested in Germany in connection with the plot and four Lebanese were detained in Lebanon. Lebanon's state prosecution issued preliminary charges against the six in September.

DPA

Subject: German news

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