Germany beefs up anti-terrorism laws in wake of Berlin attack

Jan 11, 2017

Boko Haram

Germany on Tuesday laid out its on plans to ramp up the nation’s anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a series of deadly attacks in the nation.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere announced a new package of “stricter surveillance measures,” including jailing Islamists considered to be a threat to public safety and ankle monitor electronic tags for extremists in the nation.

The plans, which follow the December 19 terrorist attack in Berlin when a 24-year-old Tunisian ploughed a truck into a crowded Christmas market, killing 12 and injuring about 50, also aim to speed up deportations for those judged to be illegally in the nation.

Maas said a watchful state was the best response to the hatred of terrorists and to prevent a repeat of the recent Berlin attack.

Maas said Germany would work to put the “necessary pressure,” including sanctions on aid, on nations that do not accept the return of their nationals who are rejected as asylum seekers.

The ministers said that a broader spectrum of measures from “all political areas” would also be used to pressure countries not relying on German aid.

Tunisian attacker Anis Amri had been due for deportation from Germany, but could not be returned as authorities had not received the necessary documents from Tunisia.

The new measures also seek to restrict the movement of asylum seekers who use false identities. After the Christmas market attack it emerged that Amri had used 14 aliases.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has faced calls to accelerate the deportations after a wave of refugees entered the nation in 2015 fleeing wars in the Middle East and Africa.

The government has also come under pressure following two Islamic State-inspired attacks in the southern state of Bavaria in July 2016 and a series of violent incidents involving asylum seekers in the nation. – DPA