European ministers discuss terror

 Source BBC  

Challenging extremist ideas and finding ways to pre-empt terror attacks will be discussed when six European interior ministers meet in the UK.

Home Secretary John Reid will host his counterparts from Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Poland for two days.

The ministers will also discuss how to encourage dialogue with Muslim communities, international organised crime and illegal migration.

The Home Office said the meeting would "explore how they can work together".

The meeting at Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, was aimed at sharing ideas and "best practice" rather than taking concrete decisions, it said.

On Thursday, the ministers will discuss how to shut off illegal immigration routes and how to work with unspecified third countries to control migration flows.

They will also debate how to reduce the harm caused by organised crime, including value added tax (VAT) fraud and trafficking of drugs and people.

Known as the G6, the group has no formal decision-making powers and is not an official body of the EU.

But agreements on cross-border co-operation can be made between the six countries - which account for three-quarters of the EU's population - without needing EU approval.

Past attacks

The Madrid train bombings of 11 March 2004 claimed the lives of 191 people.

And suicide bomb attacks in London on 7 July 2005 killed 52 people and injured hundreds of others.

The G6 meeting comes just days after counter-terrorism officials revealed their belief that al-Qaeda has become more organised and sophisticated and has made Britain its top target.

They told the BBC that the network was now operating a cell structure in the UK - like the IRA did - and sees the 7 July bomb attacks "as just the beginning".

The G6 group was established in 2003 - initially as G5 before Poland joined - and meets two to three times a year.

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