Powers united against terror threat

Three days after a terrorist bomb scarred the centenary Olympics in Atlanta, the United States joined seven other world powers in agreeing on closer international co-operation to fight terrorism at a "terrorism summit" in Paris.

Ministers from what is now called the "Political Eight" - the Group of Seven industrialised countries plus Russia - pledged to fight "new terrorism with new methods", including the creation of an international directory of anti-terrorist expertise.

Among the 25 points in the document were calls for restrictions on refugees and asylum-seekers who have used their status to support terrorist activity, investigation of organisations, "including those with charitable, social or cultural goals", which might be used by terrorists as a cover and surveillance of bank accounts, money transfers and arms sales where terrorist involvement was suspected.

The document called for more research on methods to detect explosives "and other harmful substances", and for the establishment of international standards for marking explosives, so their origins may be traced. There was also a proposal for a new international convention on terrorism to cover areas not covered by previous international agreements.

Point six showed the security services are publicly entering the information age. It called on states to "note the risk of terrorists using electronic or wire communications systems and networks to carry out criminal acts ... and the need to find means

The eight countries were divided, however, on whether sanctions should be applied, or extended, to countries which are regarded as supporters of terrorism, so that subject was left off the agenda. The US has legislation in progress that would penalise third countries trading with those Washington defines as "terrorist states". These include Iraq, Libya, Iran and Sudan. The European Union and Canada are bitterly opposed to the US measures and are considering retaliation.

The omission of the "terrorist states" from the agenda represented a diplomatic defeat for the US. But it was clearly the price of gaining a united front on the issue of terrorism in general. In a sign of what the US was up against, the German Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel, insisted just before the meeting began that Germany would continue a "dialogue" with Iran.

Yesterday's meeting had been agreed at the annual summit of the G7 in Lyons in May, which took place in the shadow of the bombing of US troops in Saudi Arabia. Hosted by the G7 chairman, France, it was attended by foreign and interior ministers from the eight countries and by some intelligence chiefs. One remarkable aspect of the gathering was the presence of the head of the Russian security service, General Nikolai Kovalyev, sitting alongside people who would have been his sworn enemies less than a decade ago.

The weight and likely effectiveness of the document is hard to gauge. The 25 points are all couched as exhortations - "We call on all states to ... " With few exceptions, they amount to little more than an extension to eight countries of the collaboration which is already in operation bilaterally between many of them.

Altering the terms of refugee or asylum status is something that must be submitted to the United Nations. The complexities of extradition are already familiar to Britons from the difficulties of extraditing IRA suspects from Ireland or the US. The borderline between preventive monitoring of telephones and bank accounts and invasion of privacy is notoriously hard to draw.

Some measures were agreed but for reasons of state secrecy do not figure in the 25 points. The French Interior Minister, Jean-Louis Debre, and the British Home Secretary, Michael Howard, confirmed that other measures were agreed but would not disclose details.

Essay, page 12

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments