European spy agency to boost intel sharing on extremists

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European spy agencies plan to boost their fight against Islamic militants by creating a virtual network to share information among up to 30 countries.

The Counter Terrorism Group — a discreet and informal network of domestic intelligence agencies from the 28 European Union countries, Norway and Switzerland — aims to create the new platform by July 1.

Attacks in Europe last year raised questions about cross-border intelligence cooperation.

In a statement Friday the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, said "terrorist attacks in Europe, like recently in France, have shown time and again that both IS and al-Qaida operate in international networks."

Rob Bertholee, head of the Dutch AIVD service, said the platform would focus on "foreign fighters and the threat they and their associates pose."