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Stepping Up Anti-Terror Laws

  • November 7th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

terror-scan.jpgEuropean governments will work together on new steps against terrorism including more laws to criminalise terrorist training and outlaw provocation to commit acts of terror via Internet.

NEW ANTI-TERROR PACKAGE

A proposed new package of measures also includes stiffer laws against recruitment and public provocation to commit terrorist offences generally; additional moves to prevent of the use of explosives by terrorists, and use of airline passenger information in law enforcement investigations.

Details of actions being put forward by the European Commission, announced this week (6.11.07):

“DEALING WITH THOSE WHO SUPPORT TERRORISM”

The Commission proposes amending the Framework Decision on combating terrorism making public provocation to commit a terrorist offence, recruitment and training for terrorism punishable behaviour, also when committed through the Internet. The proposal aims to equip legal systems across the EU with adequate tools to bring to justice criminals who spread violent propaganda providing terrorism tactics and instructions on how to manufacture and use bombs or explosives to provoke others to commit terrorist acts. The new legislation will make it easier for law enforcement authorities to get cooperation from internet service providers, to prevent crimes and identify criminals while , at the same time, ensuring that persona data remain well protected and fundamental rights safeguarded.

“PRACTICAL ACTION TO ENHANCE THE SECURITY OF EXPLOSIVES”

Attacks such as the Madrid bombings were carried out using commercially available explosives. More can be done to prevent the use of such explosives, chemical precursors and detonators by terrorists. Under impulsion of the Commission, a group of experts – involving all the relevant civil society stakeholders – investigated the issue and recommended a list of 47 action points now endorsed by the Commission in the form of an action plan that aims to enhance the security of explosives. Among other things it calls for the establishment of rapid alert systems on lost and stolen explosives and suspicious transactions, a network of European bomb-disposal experts, the development of an explosive forensic capability in Europol, research on security of explosives and detonators as well as schemes for the vetting of personnel involved in the industry.

“EU-WIDE EXCHANGE OF PASSENGER NAME RECORDS (PNR)”

The Commission proposes that air carriers make available PNR data for flights coming to or leaving the EU (in and outbound EU flights) to specialised national units carrying out risk assessments and law enforcement and counter terrorism missions. The conception and planning of terrorist attacks involves traveling by air. Members of radical groups fly to meet and obtain both guidance and training abroad. Providing law enforcement agencies in the EU with the possibility of obtaining advance passenger information and analyzing it is an important tool to detect terrorist travel and disrupt future plots. The use of this tool can, however, only be effective if it is fully respectful of the fundamental right of data protection and citizen given all due guarantees.

The European Commission has accompanied the initiative with a report criticising the uptake of anti-terror measures to date by the ten countries which joined the European Union in 2004 and later, mostly Eastern European states; and demanding more compliance with its so-called Framework Decision on combating terrorism

It says the EU Counter Terrorism Strategy is focused on a “long-term, multifaceted and complex threat requiring EU action addressing all its aspects – prevention, protection, prosecution and responding if an attack occurs.”

It insists protection of citizens must be compatible with respect for fundamental rights.

It points out the territory of the European Union was violently attacked in Madrid (March 2004) and in London (July 2005), and that “many other plots were recently foiled”, in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany and United Kingdom.

Previously
: Just over one year ago (18.10.06) measures were announced for high-technology responses to terrorism in the European Union, including more advanced communication for emergency operations, work on improved detection of explosives, anti-germ warfare devices, developments in electronic passport screening, and sophisticated tools for crowd scanning. See “High-tech War On Terror”, EUAustralia Online, 18.10.06.

Reference:

EC, “Fight Against Terrorism: stepping up Europe’s capability to protect citizens against the threat of terrorism”, 6.11.07, IP/07/1649. See also:
http://www.ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/frattini/index_en.htm
http://www.ec.europa.eu/justice_home/funding/intro/funding_intro_en.htm

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