December 28, 2005
German official wants to tag Islamic militants
BERLIN (Reuters) - Known Islamic militants should be
electronically tagged so their movements can be tracked, a
regional German interior minister proposed on Wednesday.
"This would allow us to monitor the roughly 3,000 Islamists
who are prone to violence, hate preachers and fighters trained
in terrorist camps," Lower Saxony Interior Minister Uwe
Schuenemann said in an interview with Die Welt newspaper.
"Hate preachers" is how Germans describe radical Muslim
Schuenemann said electronic tagging was a viable
alternative to holding suspected militants in protective
custody, a proposal floated by former German interior minister
Otto Schily. It would not be against Germany's constitution, he
was quoted as saying.
"It's practical for all Islamists who are prone to violence
and who we can't expel to their home countries because they
could be tortured," said Schuenemann. Germany's federal and
state governments share responsibility for security services.
Under Germany's federal system, states have a great deal of
control over their internal security operations and routine
Britain's government also proposed electronic tagging of
terror suspects in July as an alternative to jailing them
Electronic tagging of criminals has become widespread in
Britain where much of the work being outsourced to private
companies such as Serco Group Plc.
A Hamburg, Germany-based cell of al Qaeda was responsible
for the planning and execution of the September 11 attacks on
the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States.
Since those attacks, Germany has cracked down on Muslim
extremists living in the country and has had a number of
high-profile trials of radical Islamists.