EU sets sights on extremists in wake of Norway tragedy
(BRUSSELS) - Non-EU nation Norway is to be invited to join European Union interior ministers in seeking action against radicalisation and xenophobia as the bloc seeks a response to far-right terror threats.
In the wake of Norway's twin bombing and shooting spree tragedy, radicalisation has been added to the agenda of interior ministers' talks late September, a spokesman for the EU executive said Tuesday.
"The idea is to invite Norwegian authorities for possible follow-up ... so the ministers can share information on radicalisation, xenophobia," said Michele Cercone.
With self-confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik convinced of being on a crusade to save Western Europe from Muslim invasion, the EU talks will centre on how to counter threats stemming from extremist ideology, in both radical Islamist circles and populist xenophobic movements, Cercone said.
The EU in September will also launch a radicalisation awareness network as part of its so-called Internal Security Strategy.
It aims to bring together youth leaders, police officers, social workers and researchers to discuss how to cooperate against radicalisation, including on the Internet.
Also on the EU agenda for action in the wake of the Oslo carnage is a proposal to curb sales of chemical substances such as those apparently used in the Norway attacks, which has yet to be approved by the 27-nation bloc.
"Compromise is easier to reach after shocking events such as those in Norway," Cercone said Monday.
In September last year, the EU's executive proposed to limit access to chemicals easily available in supermarkets and pharmacies that can be used to make bombs, as was the case in the London bombings of 2005.
EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said the fertiliser ostensibly used by the Oslo bomber "is one of the most common substances within this area".
Another is hydrogen peroxide, the active substance in hair bleach used in London's deadly summer blasts.
The European Commission proposal sought to ensure the same level of control of such chemicals across the 27-nation bloc to "prevent terrorists and criminals taking advantage of differences in security regimes among EU member states."
It also suggested a ban on the sale of products containing certain chemicals or sale under license.
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