German State Criticized For Aggressively Going After Potential Terrorists

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The German state of Bavaria recently passed a new law to counter extremism and prevent future terror attacks, but some lawmakers argue the measures go too far.

Germany suffered a number of terror attacks in 2016 with a rapidly growing population of Islamists. The southern state of Bavaria is now going after prospective terrorists by expanding police powers.

New measures that will take effect in August include ankle bracelets and heightened surveillance of so-called “terror threats.” Individuals who are deemed to pose a risk may be detained for a longer period of time without being charged with a crime.

“The most efficient defense against dangers is to not let them emerge at all,” Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said Tuesday, according to Deutsche Welle. “We’re an open society, but in order to protect that society we need a strong state.”

Opposition lawmakers argue that the new law puts civil liberties at risk since authorities can put surveillance on people who haven’t committed any crimes. The Social Democrats abstained from voting on the bill and judges have warned about the law’s implications .

“If you then look at the individual details, you can clearly see that it interferes with the rights of every citizen,” Katharina Schulze of the Green Party told DW. “We are dealing here with a law that should be directed at terrorists but that actually interferes with every individual.”

Around 690 Islamists in Germany pose an immediate terror threat, according to figures released the federal police (BKA) Friday. (RELATED: Number Of Potential Terrorists In Germany continues To Grow)

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) recently said around 24,400 Islamists are active in the country but most of them don’t pose an immediate terror threat.

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