Germany launches anti-terrorism data-bank

30th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

30 March 2007, Berlin (dpa) - A terrorism data-bank allowing access to information on suspects for both police and the intelligence services went into operation in Germany on Friday. Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said it was needed to strengthen security in view of the threat posed by Islamic 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 Germ

30 March 2007

Berlin (dpa) - A terrorism data-bank allowing access to information on suspects for both police and the intelligence services went into operation in Germany on Friday.

Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said it was needed to strengthen security in view of the threat posed by Islamic 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.

When the law setting up the data-bank was approved by parliament in December, opposition deputies charged it would turn Germany into a police state.

The data-bank allows police and intelligence easier access to a host of information on suspects, including membership of terrorist groups, firearms registration information as well as internet and telecommunications data.

Other details cover bank account and safety deposit box information, school, university and apprenticeship data, family status and religious affiliation as well as travel data, including visits to areas suspected of housing terrorist training camps.

The government put the finishing touches to the new law last year, 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.

"Germany continues to take very seriously the threat posed by Islamic extremists," Schaeuble said on Friday. The data-bank "is an effective and measured instrument" to counter the danger, he said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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