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200 Germans probed in connection with Syria

December 9, 2015

Heiko Maas has said the government is investigating 135 domestic cases linked to the war in Syria. He said this showed that the German legal system was working, and the Berlin had "no tolerance" for radical terrorism.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Wolf

Justice Minister Heiko Maas told the "Bild" newspaper on Wednesday that public prosecutors were pursuing 135 cases against some 200 German citizens suspected of particpating in the conflict in Syria.

"This shows that we have an extremely strong set of terror laws in Germany. One that we will consistently apply," Maas told the newspaper. "There is no tolerance for radical terrorists."

Fears of homegrown terror

Meanwhile, Bavaria's interior minister, Joachim Hermann, told Bild that criminal laws addressing terrorism should be strengthened.

"Given the threat posed by Islamic terrorism, we should further develop our tools to combat criminality: things like expressing sympathy for terrorist associations or visiting terrorist training camps should earn harsh punishment," Hermann said.

More than 700 people have left Germany to fight alongside terrorist groups like the "Islamic State" (IS) in Syria and Iraq.

blc/msh (epd, dpa)