Europeans eye new tools to stop Syria jihad

AP News
Posted: Jun 05, 2014 10:58 AM
Europeans eye new tools to stop Syria jihad

AMSTERDAM (AP) — European interior affairs ministers are considering censoring jihadi websites and setting up a "task force" to counter jihadi propaganda to prevent radical Muslims from traveling to fight in Syria's civil war and then returning home to commit acts of terrorism.

The moves come in the wake of a deadly shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels last month and the subsequent arrest of a suspected French jihadi whom officials say had been in Syria.

In a statement published after a meeting of interior affairs ministers in Luxembourg Thursday, the French and Belgian ministers said in a joint statement that there was "broad support" for new measures, including the "task force" proposed by Britain.

Bernard Cazeneuve of France and Joelle Milquet of Belgium also said meetings will be held with major internet operators around Europe this month to examine "the possibilities to immediately remove from the Internet sites and messages that sow hate and incite to violent radicalism and terrorism."

They said a decision on whether to adopt those measures will be made at a meeting in Milan in July.

Separately, the ministers adopted a declaration that said European Union member states should try to expand their abilities to share information about people who have traveled to Syria to engage in jihad, or plan to do so.

In particular, they said states should strengthen border checks and improve the ability of EU governments to share information about airline passengers, in order to have a better chance of identifying returning jihadi.