Anti-terror bill agreed

Austria News Briefs

The coalition partners SPÖ and ÖVP have agreed on an anti-terror bill to be presented in Parliament, the APA reported.

The proposal allows the police to carry out “extended threat investigations” (erweiterte Gefahrenforschung) on individuals who publicly approve of violence, or take steps to acquire the skills to carry out a terrorist attack.

So far, such investigations, which include searching data stored online and by foreign intelligence agencies, could only be carried out on groups of at least three suspects.

As extended investigations will have to be approved by an independent legal representative, the SPÖ, previously opposed to the measure, says there are now sufficient guarantees that the police can only use its new powers where there is a concrete suspicion.

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