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Germany battles internet terrorism

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Germany battles internet terrorism
Photo: DPA
11:33 CEST+02:00
Germany's foreign minister has called for international efforts to eradicate "virtual hiding places" for terrorists who use the internet to plan attacks.

Speaking at a UN Security Council debate on terrorism Friday, Foreign Minister

Guido Westerwelle said, "The internet is increasingly abused by terrorist

groups for incitement and recruitment."

He highlighted a case in Germany where an extremist group had used the

internet "unnoticed for many years" to "plan vicious attacks and recruit

supporters."

The minister was referring to a neo-Nazi cell blamed for the killings of eight men of Turkish origin, one Greek national and a policewoman, which was uncovered in Germany last year.

"In response, we need to reduce virtual hiding places for terrorists and we

need to counter incitement," Westerwelle said. "Identifying effective measures whilst ensuring full respect for fundamental freedoms is a challenge for all of us."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council to approve the

creation of a UN anti-terrorism coordinator, a call that was backed by the

United States, Britain, France, India and others on the 15-nation body.

The council also agreed to a statement at the end of the debate highlighting

concern at the "increase" in kidnapping for ransom by terrorist groups to

raise funds or gain political concessions.

The council also expressed fears about growing links "between terrorism and transnational organized crime."

AFP/mbw

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