Government cracks down on suspected terror travellers / News / The Foreigner

Government cracks down on suspected terror travellers. Authorities may be granted powers allowing them to deny passports more easily. The proposal, which has been sent to hearing, applies in cases “where there is reason to believe that a person is planning to become a foreign fighter,” says Anders Anundsen, Minister of Justice for the Progress Party (FrP). If passed, it would mean that passports could either be refused or recalled.

passports, terror



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Government cracks down on suspected terror travellers

Published on Thursday, 21st January, 2016 at 21:09 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .

Authorities may be granted powers allowing them to deny passports more easily.

Norwegian passport (illustration photo)
Norwegian passport (illustration photo)
Photo: Noble/Wikimedia Commons


The proposal, which has been sent to hearing, applies in cases “where there is reason to believe that a person is planning to become a foreign fighter,” says Anders Anundsen, Minister of Justice for the Progress Party (FrP).

If passed, it would mean that passports could either be refused or recalled.

The legislation could be invoked if there were suspicions that the journey out of Norway was due to: participation in acts of terror and/or terror-related acts, or illegal participation in military operations abroad.

“It’s important to have effective means to prevent people travelling to areas of conflict”, states Minister Anundsen, “both to prevent the very serious crimes that are committed in these areas, and because people who return could represent a threat to Norway and Norwegian interests.”

According to him, the proposal’s context is that certain people choose to travel to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist militant group ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

Both Norway’s Police Security Service (PST) and military intelligence have expressed increasing concerns about the numbers of Norwegians travelling abroad and receiving weapons instruction.

2014 saw the PST arrest several people as part of a raid against ISIL in Norway. Later on that year, police upped security following the PST announcing that they had received concrete information about a terror threat against Norway.

Some months later, the PST warned that there was a possibility of an attack the Scandinavian country within the next year. Their 2015 Annual Threat Assessment also contained warnings about active extreme Islamist groups in Norway.

The passport refusal/recall proposal only affects passports and National Identity Cards with a travel permit. There will be no consequences for a person’s Norwegian citizenship, according to Justice Minister Anundsen.

An objective assumption that the person has intentions of committing illegal acts abroad must be present before the legislation can be invoked. Current laws specify that passport confiscation can only take place if there is probable evidence of this.

Moreover, the decision to refuse issuance of a passport will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The one year at a time measure, which must be justified and can be appealed, can also be brought before the Courts.

“Denying [a person a] passport is an invasive measure that should not be used unless there are compelling reasons for it, and there are several mechanisms in place to safeguard this,” concludes Minister of Justice Anders Anundsen.



Published on Thursday, 21st January, 2016 at 21:09 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: passports, terror.





  
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