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Germany minister publicly mulls targeted killings, indeterminate terror detentions

[JURIST] German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble [BBC News profile; personal website, in German] said it was imperative not to underplay the gravity of terrorist threats and raised the possibility of "targeted killings" of terror suspects like Osama Bin Laden and the indefinite detention of others in a controversial interview [text, in German] with Der Spiegel [media website] magazine published Monday. Pointing to similar United States policy, he noted that classification of suspects as enemy combatants [JURIST news archive] would offer a solution for indefinitely interning those who cannot be deported. He emphasized that Germany must "try to resolve such constitutional issues as precisely as possible and create a legal foundation to have the necessary liberties in the struggle against terrorism."

The interview has already drawn criticism. Parliamentary Social Democrat leader Peter Struck decried Schaeuble's comments as endorsing a "police state" evocative of Germany's fascist past. The terrorism debate in Germany recently grew heated as Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website] last week remarked that the German army should be deployed in the event of an impending terror attack. The nation's Basic Law [text] allows for military deployment only in response to a disaster or to give medical back-up. Thomas Steg, deputy spokesman to Merkel, said that there are no immediate plans to implement Schaeuble's proposals, but did not rule out the possibility in the future. AFP has more.

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