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Justice Minister: No link between Paris attacks and Germany

German Justice Minister Justice Heiko Maas has said German authorities were unable to prove any links between Germany and the Paris attacks. He also rejected the coalition's demands for more security measures.

In an interview with German Sunday paper "Welt am Sonntag" (WamS), German Justice Minister Justice Heiko Maas said "according to the current status of investigations, there is no relation between Germany and the attacks in Paris."

Two weeks since the attacks - in which a group of "Islamic State" supporters killed 130 people in a series of attacks across the French capital - several investigations are underway, the paper reported.

Stuttgart's prosecutor's office, for example, is currently working to determine whether a link exists between the November 13 attacks and the delivery of four assault rifles from Baden-Württemberg to an address in Paris.

'Severe' criminal law

Despite the serious threat against Germany and the potential for a terrorist attack Maas rejected demands from within the government for tougher safety laws.

"In Germany we have already an extremely severe penal law against terrorism. That is why the federal government agreed that the recently adopted tightening must be applied consistently," Maas said.

'Full force of law'

The minister, a member of the junior coalition partner Social Democrats, also deemed demands from members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), for the reintroduction of the criminalization of promoting terrorism, as a "knee-jerk debate," in which he did not want to participate.

Maas told "WamS" that it was thanks to Germany's existing legislation that around 120 proceedings against nearly 200 defendants in connection with the conflict in Syria and Iraq were already underway.

This shows that those "who want to spread fear and dread among us by using barbaric terror, will face the full force of law," Maas said.

During the interview, the SPD politician also reiterated his warning against linking the refugee crisis with the risk of Islamist terror.

"Refugees are victims and not perpetrators," Maas emphasized.

ksb/sms (dpa, AFP)

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