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German Interior Minister Reveals anti-Terror Measures | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere. Reuters

Cologne-German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has announced a series of new measures as part of the fight against terror. Among the proposals is a controversial plan to strip jihadist fighters of their German nationality.

Deportations of convicted criminal migrants will also be sped up while police resources are to be greatly boosted under the security package drawn up by de Maiziere.

While discussing at the press conference about the late July attack on a train near Wuerzburg and on a music festival in Ansbach, in which asylum-seekers wounded 20 people in total, the minister said the federal government and Germany’s 16 states would discuss plans to equip local police forces better.

The new measures also include surveillance on the phones of asylum-seekers that are suspected of plotting attacks.

De Maiziere said he would meet senior doctors to discuss how they could more easily tip off police when they suspected a patient was a terror risk although the duty of doctors to respect patient confidentiality is enshrined in the German constitution.

But the head of the German Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, warned against tampering with the doctors’ confidentiality right.

He said the “tense domestic security situation” shouldn’t mean the government makes “rash political and legal measures.”

“Patient confidentiality protects patients’ privacy and is a basic right under the constitution,” Montgomery said.

On the full burka, or veil, de Maiziere rejected a call from conservative Christian Democrat state interior ministers for a burqa ban.