Ard van der Steur (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/VVD/Matthijs Idema) - Credit: Ard van der Steur (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/VVD/Matthijs Idema)
Justice Min.: Tougher international train security needed
A number of extra measures was agreed upon to increase security on the European railway network at a mini-summit on the issue in Paris over the weekend. Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice, who attended the meeting, stressed that extra measures are necessary, but that 100 percent safety can not be guaranteed. "It will never be 100 percent safe", the Justice Minister said, AD reports ."The Dutch population should realize this." This sentiment is shared by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maziere. "We can and want to increase the checks on stations and in trains, but it will never be waterproof", he said. This mini-summit follows the attack on a Thalys train between Amsterdam and Paris on August 21st. Ayoub El Khazzani boarded the train in Brussels, carrying a Kalashnikov and several other weapons. Two people were injured before passengers managed to overpower the man. The final conclusion of the meeting, singed by nine European ministers, the European Commission and the European Coordinator for Counterterrorism, is that "we need to better detect, stop and fight radical individuals who want to commit violence." Other measures agreed upon includes the Netherlands and Belgium jointly patrolling the Thalys trains more often. Other countries will also work together to perform inspections more often. The intelligence services of the involved countries will cooperate more and better. Exchanging information on potential terrorist perpetrators will become part of the standard procedures. "The exchange of information could and can be better, both in quality and scope", Van der Steur said according to the newspaper. The ministers decided against permanent passport controls and baggage checks, similar to those on airports, stating that this would be going too far. "All the ministers want to maintain freedom of movement", Van der Steur said.