German security chief wants captive IS suspects screened

Posted at 4:50 AM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 04:50:20-05

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's top security official says suspected German members of the Islamic State group captured in Syria need to be screened before they can return home.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer says Germany needs to know with certainty the identities of IS fighters and their families, and what they allegedly did, "before anyone gets put on a plane."

His comments in an interview Wednesday with daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung come after U.S. President Donald Trump called on European allies to take back their citizens or risk them being turned loose.

Authorities believe Syrian Kurdish forces are holding about 50 German IS fighters and a similar number of family members. There are arrest warrants for only a handful when they return to Germany, partly due to a lack of reliable evidence against them.