Possibility of more Latvian Jihadis, says minister

Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis said Tuesday it was possible that more Latvians might in future join the ranks of Islamic State (IS) fighters wreaking havoc in Syria.

However, speaking on Latvian Radio Kozlovskis pointed out that the threat posed to Latvia itself was currently 'Code Blue' - the lowest of the country's four terror security levels.

There was "no cause for concern" despite the fact that security servoces have confirmed the presence of one Latvian citizen on the side of IS in Syria.

He contrasted the situation with the UK, from which dozens and possibly hundreds of Jihadi fighters are believed to have left in order to join up with IS - most notoriously appearing in videos depicting the brutal executions of western hostages that have included journalists and aid workers.

The Criminal Code will be amended in the near future to make it illegal for Latvian citizens to participate in armed conflicts in other countries, and to help with their for their financing, training and recruitment, he added.

The penalty for such offences will be up to ten years in prison.

Kozlovskis also pointed out that the Latvian Presidency of the European Union will also discuss a common EU approach against terrorism, an issie which has come to the fore following the murder of journalists, a police officer and innocent bystanders in Paris last week.

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