09:49 GMT13 August 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - German nationals, who once left for Syria to fight alongside Daesh* militants, must be put under permanent surveillance as soon as they return to their home country, German Justice Minister Katarina Barley said in an interview with the Spiegel magazine published on Friday.

    "We must make sure that former IS [Daesh] militants cannot move freely in our country. Many of them are long being wanted on arrest warrants. Others must be put under constant surveillance once they enter Germany," Barley said.

    The statement comes after German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Monday that Berlin had discussed the future of such German citizens with the United States and maintained close contact on the issue with EU nations.

    German Foreign Ministry spokesman Rainer Breul, meanwhile, told reporters that Berlin neither had any contacts with the detained militants nor provided them with consular assistance since its diplomatic mission did not operate in conflict-hit Syria.

    READ MORE: Denmark Rejects US Call to Take Back Daesh Fighters, Germany Notes Legal Issues

    The issue of the potential return of foreign terrorist fighters to Europe and challenges associated with the returnees has been a pressing issue for several years. The issue was brought up by US President Donald Trump on Saturday, who urged European countries, including the United Kingdom, France and Germany, to take back more than 800 Daesh fighters, captured by the United States in Syria, and put them on trial.

    *Daesh [ISIL, IS, Islamic State] — a terrorist group banned in Russia


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