EU states to tighten anti-terrorism laws
Monday, 21 April 2008

European Union ministers have agreed to punish incitement to terrorism through the internet, reports BBC.

At a meeting in Luxembourg, EU justice and interior ministers tightened existing laws.
 
Public provocation to commit terrorist attacks, as well as recruiting and training people for terrorism will be punishable offences throughout the EU.

The ministers also agreed on an action plan to prevent terrorist groups from getting explosives.
EU officials said the decision to punish propaganda, recruitment and training for terrorism through the internet filled an important gap in European legislation.

They described the internet as a virtual training camp for militants, used to inspire and mobilise local groups.

Earlier this month, the EU anti-terrorism co-ordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, said the threat of terrorism in Europe had not diminished and about 5,000 internet sites were being used to radicalise young people.

National courts will now be able to ask internet service providers to remove such sites.
Britain, Spain and Italy already punish public incitement to terrorism.
 
But under pressure from Nordic countries and civil rights campaigners, ministers made clear that the new provisions may not be used to restrict freedom of expression.

In a separate move to combat terrorism, they agreed to establish an early-warning system on stolen explosives and detonators by the end of the year.

They also resolved to create a database giving police permanent access to information on incidents involving explosive devices.
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