(AA) — Germany will confiscate passports of citizens who sought to join up with terrorists in Syria and Iraq, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere announced on Friday.
The ministry will seize the passports of German citizens suspected of having traveled abroad to fight with terrorist groups.
More than 450 Germany citizens have left the country to support the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, according to the minister.
“We do not want to export terrorism from Germany. We do not want men and women to be radicalized and to experience war in Syria and Iraq, and then to come back here and to plan attacks,” the minister warned.
He said that more than 200 investigations have been opened so far, and that these cases will be fully investigated. The minister said that some people are already being prevented from going abroad.
The government will provide replacement ID cards in order to prevent those whose passports have been confiscated from traveling to the Middle East. Such ID cards cannot be used to cross borders outside of the European Union.