German interior minister: Jihadists should lose citizenship
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German interior minister: Jihadists should lose citizenship

Berlin unveils tough counterterrorism measures after spate of Islamic State-claimed attacks

Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere delivers a statement to announce new anti-terror measures in Berlin, on August 11, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ)
Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere delivers a statement to announce new anti-terror measures in Berlin, on August 11, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ)

BERLIN — German citizens with dual nationality who fight for a terror group should be stripped of their German citizenship, the interior minister said Thursday, unveiling tough new measures after two attacks by Islamic State militants.

“Germans who participate in fighting abroad for a terror militia and who have another citizenship, should lose their German nationality,” Thomas de Maiziere said.

Some 820 people have left Germany to fight alongside jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, according to estimates by Germany’s secret service.

With around one in three fighters having since returned to Germany, fears are running high of the threat they may pose on European soil.

Police investigators work at the site of a suicide bombing in Ansbach, southern Germany, on July 25, 2016. (AFP/ dpa / Daniel Karmann)
Police investigators work at the site of a suicide bombing in Ansbach, southern Germany, on July 25, 2016. (AFP/ dpa / Daniel Karmann)

De Maiziere also announced plans to make being a “threat to public security” grounds for deporting foreign suspects.

He also said there would be an increase in police numbers, with 4,600 new posts, and said that by 2020, spending on security-related issues would be raised by 2 billion euros.

The new measures were unveiled after two attacks in July by migrants in the southern state of Bavaria — an ax rampage on a train in Wuerzburg and a suicide bombing in Ansbach.

In Wuerzburg, the 17-year-old attacker was shot dead by police after injuring five people. In Ansbach 15 people were injured after a failed Syrian asylum seeker detonated an explosive device outside a music festival, killing himself.

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