Germany is in need of tougher laws to protect against terrorists -- including the ability to detain people who could be dangerous -- Interior Minister Otto Schily said.
Schily: Germany needs to discuss the option of preventative custody
Schily said Germans must think about introducing new laws allowing potentially dangerous people to be detained without concrete suspicion as a "last resort."
In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Schily said, referring to Islamic extremists, that there were known menaces in Germany who could not be deported because they faced the death penalty in their home country or because they had become German subjects.
German Interior Minister Otto Schily
"However, if you know for certain they're dangerous, but don't have any concrete evidence of a criminal act, is it completely unimaginable to hold them in custody for a certain period to ward off danger and for public safety?" Schily said.
"We need to think about it"
The interior minister added that he was aware of the fact that there is no majority currently for introducing preventative custody, but that it was necessary to start a "theoretical debate" about the issue.
"We need to think about it," he said.
Another important preventative measure against terrorism was integration and assimilation of foreigners, Schily said in the interview.
Integration and assimilation of foreigners in Germany will make the country safer, German Interior Minister Otto Schily said.
"Assimilation is not the same thing as denying oneself," he said. "Mustafa will still be called Mustafa and go to a mosque."
But he said that the more Germany successfully encouraged immigrants to adopt German values, the more immunity against terrorist propaganda would increase.
Germany is not the first European government to mull the prospect of preventative custody. Following the bombing attacks in London last month, the British government said it was studying calls by police to be allowed to detain terror suspects for up to three months without charge.