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420 potentially dangerous Islamists live in Germany: Holger Munch

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Berlin: Around 43,000 people are part of Islamist circles in Germany and around 420 are considered potentially dangerous, the president of the German Federal Criminal Police Office (or BKA) has said.

In an interview with Die Welt newspaper after the attacks in Paris, Holger Munch recalled that Islamist terrorism attacks European values, with Germany also in its sight.

As he noted, the coordinated work of the security forces has prevented 11 attacks in the country, but Paris has shown that the risk of international terrorism is “high” and that Germany may also be affected.

The jihadists, he explained, are younger than they were a few years ago and radicalized much faster; sometimes they spend a few months or a few weeks until a person decides to travel to Syria.

Many have criminal records behind them and often, before travelling abroad to join the jihadists, come into contact with Salafist groups in Germany.

According to data from the BKA, more than 750 Islamists have left Germany bound for Iraq and Syria and there is information about 70 people who have returned after receiving military training or combat experience.

(IANS/EFE)

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Social Media Laws Should Be Tightened: Germany

Facebook in July said it had deleted hundreds of offensive posts since implementation of the law

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An illustration picture shows a man starting his Twitter app on a mobile device in Hanau near Frankfurt. VOA

German states have drafted a list of demands aimed at tightening a law that requires social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to remove hate speech from their sites, the Handelblatt newspaper reported Monday.

Justice ministers from the states will submit their proposed revisions to the German law called NetzDG at a meeting with Justice Minister Katarina Barley on Thursday, the newspaper said, saying it had obtained a draft of the document.

The law, which came into full force on Jan. 1, is a highly ambitious effort to control what appears on social media and it has drawn a range of criticism.

Twitter, tweets, social media
Twitter allows publishers to monetise video views globally. (VOA)

While the German states are focused on concerns about how complaints are processed, other officials have called for changes following criticism that too much content was being blocked.

The states’ justice ministers are calling for changes that would make it easier for people who want to complain about banned content such as pro-Nazi ideology to find the required forms on social media platforms.

They also want to fine social media companies up to 500,000 euros ($560,950) for providing “meaningless replies” to queries from law enforcement authorities, the newspaper said.

Till Steffen, the top justice official in Hamburg and a member of the Greens party, told the newspaper that the law had in some cases proven to be “a paper tiger.”

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If we want to effectively limit hate and incitement on the internet, we have to give the law more bite. Pixabay

“If we want to effectively limit hate and incitement on the internet, we have to give the law more bite and close the loopholes,” he told the paper. “For instance, it cannot be the case that some platforms hide their complaint forms so that no one can find them.”

Also Read: Facebook Allows French Regulators to Oversee Hate Speech Control

Facebook in July said it had deleted hundreds of offensive posts since implementation of the law, which foresees fines of up to 50 million euros ($56.10 million) for failure to comply. (VOA)