European ministers in charge of security pledged Wednesday to increase their cooperation to fight terrorism, saying they may begin by blocking certain Internet sites, using fingerprinting or iris-scanning technology, and training Muslim preachers to discourage militancy.
Ministers from Finland, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia and France met here with the British home secretary, John Reid, to map out new anti-terrorism measures. Afterward, in a news conference, they laid out proposals that signaled a shift for Europe, which has been loath to limit individual freedoms or to try to impose a uniform set of values, The New York Times reports.
Biometric testing is set to be introduced at European airports under plans for stringent new security measures revealed yesterday in the wake of last week's alleged terror plot.
Passengers would have their fingerprint or iris scanned under the measures proposed by EU interior ministers, which would also use passenger profiling to try to identify potential terrorists.
The move to beef up relaxed security procedures in Europe came as John Reid warned that human rights would have to be balanced against the threat from terrorism and that the current terror threat was Europe-wide and needed to be tackled on an international level, scotsman.com says.
Passenger checks which have brought chaos to Britain's airports will be extended across the EU, it has emerged.
It means travellers going to popular holiday destinations such as Spain and Greece will face huge queues and restrictions on hand luggage at both ends of their journey.
Home Office sources said that, if the stringent rules were not extended across the EU, the terrorist threat would simply be 'displaced'.
Fanatics hell bent on mass murder would simply board a flight in Paris, Frankfurt, Athens or Madrid rather than London, they insisted.
The plan emerged at a meeting of top EU officials and Ministers in London, for which John Reid risked accusations of grandstanding by holding three separate photo calls.
It was also revealed EU countries could strike a controversial deal to share advance information on passenger lists for every flight.
A similar requirement, made by the US and Canada, forces passengers to check-in up to three hours before take-off.
It allows the US and Canada to check the details of all passengers for any terrorist links, but leads to hours of waiting around at airports, The Daily Mail reports.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik