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European Ministers Discuss Anti-Terror Cooperation


Security ministers from six European countries have agreed to increase cooperation to thwart terrorist threats and monitor the use of the Internet by potential terrorist groups. The announcement comes at the end of a two-day, closed-door meeting in Britain.

British Home Secretary John Reid hosted his counterparts from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland at a country hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The issues discussed are at the top of just about every European government's list of priorities - how to prevent future terrorist attacks, better monitor use of the Internet by extremist groups and disrupt the flow of money to terrorists.

Home Secretary Reid told British television the ministers also decided to intensify research into liquid explosives.

"Why? Because as we all introduce methods of discovering and identifying the present explosives - people going onto planes - the terrorists are trying to stay ahead of us by inventing liquid explosives," he said. "And, therefore we're going to do research together, right across Europe, into explosives, including liquid explosives, to enable us to combat that."

Earlier this year, British police arrested several dozen people they linked to a plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners by using liquid explosives.

The ministers also discussed how to tackle some underlying issues, including how to persuade young Muslims in Europe to turn away from extremism.

Extremist cells linked to al-Qaida were discovered in a number of European countries in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001.

Al-Qaida linked bombers carried out a series of coordinated attacks on commuter trains in Madrid, Spain in 2004, killing over 190 people. In July 2005 home-grown Muslim extremists blew themselves up in subways and a bus during morning rush hour in London, killing more than 50 people.

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