Germany wants to tighten laws on training in terrorist camps abroad

18th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

18 September 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Attending a terrorist training camp should be punished with up to 10 years in prison, German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said on presenting an outline for new legislation in Berlin Tuesday.

18 September 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Attending a terrorist training camp should be punished with up to 10 years in prison, German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said on presenting an outline for new legislation in Berlin Tuesday.

The move follows the cracking of an alleged Islamist terrorist cell on September 4. The three men who were arrested - two German converts to Islam and a Turk - had all undergone training last year in Pakistan.

Zypries also said the new law would facilitate the deportation of dangerous foreigners and would aim to close gaps in current legislation.

Those who underwent training or trained others in how to carry out terrorist acts would be punished, the minister said.

As examples she pointed to people who undergo training in a Pakistani Islamist camp and right-wing extremists who seek training in the use of explosives with the attention of blowing up a synagogue.

But Zypries also said simply acquiring these skills without the intention of using them for a terrorist attack would not be punishable.

The law would also target those using viruses, poisons and radioactive material, as well those providing funds to prepare a terrorist attack.

She acknowledged that prosecutors would have difficulty in assembling sufficient evidence to convince a court of the guilt of suspects in many cases.

Zypries' move comes amid a rising debate in Germany about countering terrorism that has opened up division within Chancellor Angela Merkel's broad-based "grand coalition."

Over the weekend, Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung provoked controversy with his statement that he would order air force pilots to down a hijacked aircraft that posed the kind of threat seen in the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Although Jung drew support from fellow Christian Democrats, Social Democrats like Zypries objected that the Constitutional Court had ruled an order of this kind illegal.

DPA

Subject: German news

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