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12 Jan, 2015 20:00

​Germany wants to ban jihadi suspects from traveling for 3 years

​Germany wants to ban jihadi suspects from traveling for 3 years

German authorities will seize the ID cards of anyone suspected of having ties with terrorists for up to three years, if a draft law goes through. The nation is struggling to stop its citizens from joining the Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups.

The new legislation is to be approved by the German Cabinet on Wednesday, a spokesman for the country’s Interior Ministry said, as cited by Reuters.

Along with having their IDs confiscated, the suspected would-be militants would receive a document saying they are banned from traveling.

The country initially planned to seize the IDs of the suspected extremists for 1.5 years, but then doubled the duration. The recent attacks in France which killed 17 people have given momentum to the plan. The travel restrictions, however, were discussed before the Paris shootings.

Currently, German authorities are allowed to seize passports to keep citizens at home. However, they do not have the right to confiscate personal Ids, which are to be carried at all times.

READ MORE: Terror alert in Germany ‘highest in 40 years’ – security authorities

ID cards allow Germans to enter other European countries, as well as Turkey – which extremists could travel through en route to Syria or Iraq, where they could then join IS militants and other terror groups.

Members of al Qaeda's Nusra Front drive in a convoy as they tour villages, which they said they have seized control of from Syrian rebel factions, in the southern countryside of Idlib. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi)

READ MORE: Germany to Turkey: 'Turkey must prevent terrorists from crossing its borders to Syria'

Earlier, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said he would introduce "tougher action" against terrorists, adding that "we must make Germany more secure.” The action is meant to include punishment for terrorists’ financial backers and would-be jihadists traveling to conflict zones.

In November, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that the number of Germans who left the country to fight alongside Islamic State militants had topped 500.

“We estimate 550. Just a few days ago we had 450,” the minister told German TV channel Phoenix. “These young people...were radicalized in Germany, within this society. That's why prevention must be accompanied by repression.”

He added that authorities are watching some 230 more people who may present possible threats to Germany.