Merkel decries shortcomings in federal states′ security controls | News | DW | 13.04.2017
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Merkel decries shortcomings in federal states' security controls

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned certain states still lack the necessary anti-terror laws. She criticized North Rhine-Westphalia in particular, where the Borussia Dortmund football team was attacked this week.

The German chancellor on Thursday urged all federal states to work together towards a common security and anti-terror framework.

"Unfortunately, we still see differing kinds of laws in individual states," Merkel told the Funke media group.

Merkel called out Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), for its supposedly lackluster security controls and reluctance to introduce stop and search laws.

Read: Germany arrests 'Islamist' suspect over Dortmund bus attack

Merkel also pointed out that some states, such as Berlin and NRW, don't provide a legal framework for authorities to monitor potential threats.

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The chancellor stressed that it was important for states to strengthen their security laws on the back of receiving a funding boost from the central government in Berlin.

"We know that we are under threat, just like many other countries," Merkel said. "We have to do all we can to guarantee our citizens' protection within a free society, and ensure close coordination between the federal and state level.

NRW's security apparatus has been the subject of scrutiny this week after the Borussia Dortmund football team was targeted ahead of the Champions League quarterfinal tie against Monaco on Tuesday.

The state's government has also come under fire for its failure to detain Tunisian migrant Anis Amri, who went on to perpetrate last December's Christmas market attack, in which 12 people were killed.

NRW will elect a new parliament next month in an election widely perceived as a trial run for the federal election later in the year. 

Merkel admits migrant policy raised threat level

The chancellor admitted Thursday that among the hundreds of thousands of migrants who entered Germany over the past two years, some had raised security concerns. "We owe it to the innocent refugees to pursue those who choose to abuse our will to help," she said.

Read: Are refugees more criminal than the average German citizen?

Asked whether she regretted that her "open door" refugee policy had let extremists into Germany, Merkel pointed out that the country "was already a target for Islamist terrorism before refugees arrived here."

dm/rt (dpa, AFP)

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