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Interior Minister: Germany Didn’t Fumble on Countering Terror

German Interior Minister Otto Schily has dismissed charges by the United States that Germany provided American intelligence services with incomplete information about the Hamburg terror cell, blamed for planning the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. As the trial of Moroccan Abdelghani Mzoudi, a suspected member of the Hamburg-based al-Qaeda cell got underway in Hamburg on Thursday, Schily said in a radio interview, "the claim that we fumbled, is wrong. I’ve said that very clearly." Referring to a U.S. report released last month by the United States Congress, which accused Germany of failing to take the threat of terror seriously enough, Schily said the document was "questionable." The report also criticized Germany for restrictive laws that made cooperation between intelligence agencies difficult. Schily, however, insisted on Thursday that the cooperation between Berlin and Washington in the fight against global terrorism was "brilliant." Since 2001 Berlin has also introduced legislation to make it easier to investigate and take action against those suspected of having ties to terrorist organizations.

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