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European Union: Amendment to the Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism

(May 2, 2008) In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, the European Union expedited the adoption of the Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism, which was finally approved on June 13, 2002. The Decision represents the cornerstone of the European Union's struggle to combat terrorism. It harmonizes the definition of terrorist offenses in all Member States; and requires all EU Members to provide for serious penalties for natural and legal persons engaging in terrorist activities.

On November 6, 2008, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend the Decision. The amendment introduces two new offenses: a) public provocation to commit a terrorist offense; b) recruitment and training for terrorism offenses committed through the Internet. Thus, individuals who make available through the Internet information on bomb-making and also distribute terrorist propaganda can now be held liable for committing terrorist offenses. Moreover, law enforcement authorities will be enabled to obtain cooperation more easily from Internet service providers in their efforts to prevent terrorist crime and identify criminals, and, based on court orders or administrative decisions, national authorities have the right to request that the providers eliminate the terrorism-related data.

On April 18, 2008, the Council of the European Union reached a common agreement on the proposal to amend the Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism (Press Release, European Union, Amendment of the framework Decision on Combating Terrorism, MEMO/08/255 (Apr. 18, 2008), available at