Germany calls for campaign against Internet terrorism
UNITED NATIONS – Germany’s foreign minister on Friday 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, 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.”
A neo-Nazi cell blamed for the killings of eight men of Turkish origin, one Greek national and a policewoman, was uncovered 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.
A statement agreed by the council at the end of the debate highlighted 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.”
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