Germany seeks to keep jihadi suspects from traveling for 3 years

Germany seeks to keep jihadi suspects from traveling for 3 years
# 12 January 2015 23:11 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Germany plans to seize the personal identity cards of would-be jihadists for up to three years - twice as long as originally planned - in order to prevent them from joining militants in the Middle East, according to a draft law, APA reports quoting Reuters.

The German cabinet is set to approve the new law on Wednesday, a spokesman for the interior ministry said on Monday.

Berlin, like other European countries, is struggling to prevent its citizens from traveling to join Islamic State, the militant group that has seized swathes of Syrian and Iraqi territory.

Last week's attacks by Islamist militants in Paris have given new urgency to its efforts, although plans to extend the travel ban predated the events in France.

Under existing legislation, Germany can seize passports to keep citizens at home, but not the personal identity cards which every German is obliged to carry at all times.

The identity cards alone are enough for Germans to gain entry to other European countries and also, crucially, to Turkey, from where would-be jihadists can slip across the long border into Syria.

Under the proposed rule, those whose papers are withdrawn would be given a new document banning them from travel.

About 550 German citizens have joined fighting in Syria and about 180 are believed to have returned, officials have said.

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