Fri, 29 Jan 2010 16:27:10 GMT
Berlin – Alleged Islamists can have their passports removed to prevent them from travelling from Germany to attend terrorist training camps, a Berlin court announced on Friday. The ruling came in a case brought by three men who were stopped as they attempted to board planes to Istanbul last September, since there was reason to believe they aimed to reach Pakistan or Afghanistan to join jihad, or holy war.
It was acceptable to confiscate a passport if there was reason to suspect that German interests were under threat, the administrative court said.
Two of the three men had German passports, and were stopped by police in Berlin’s Tegel airport.
Their confiscated luggage included equipment for outdoor activities, as well as German-Arabic dictionaries, and they were carrying 9,000 euros (12,600 dollars) in cash, hidden in part on their bodies.
The men’s houses were searched, revealing CDs with militant contents. Later that day, the state authorities withdrew their passports and forbade them to leave Germany.
The third man had not been issued with new travel documents.
The court ruled that participation in jihad by a German national could harm Germany’s relations or reputation abroad, which damaged German interests and justified withholding the men’s passports.
The items found in the men’s possession, as well as their connections to other suspected militant Islamists, were enough to draw the conclusion that they wished to join armed jihad, the court found.
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