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Germany Has a Weird Plan to Keep Jihadists From Traveling: 'Replacement' ID Cards

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"We don't want terrorism to be exported."

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, shows a replacement temporary identity card during a press conference in Berlin, Friday Oct. 17, 2014. Germany is drawing up plans to withdraw the identity cards of Islamic extremists suspected of planning to travel to Iraq or Syria to join terrorist groups. Thomas de Maiziere said Friday security officials plan to issue such suspects with a replacement temporary identity card stating in several languages that it doesn't entitle the holder to leave the country. De Maiziere says it's already possible to withdraw people's passports but officials hadn't previously come up with a way to withhold or mark the plastic identity cards Germans can use to travel to many countries in and beyond the European Union. More than 2,000 Europeans, including at least 450 from Germany, have joined the Islamic State group and other extremist organizations in recent years. (AP Photo/dpa, Wolfgang Kumm) AP Photo/dpa, Wolfgang Kumm

Fake IDs for suspected jihadists?

That's vaguely what Germany is planning to do.

In a special meeting Friday, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere explained how the country would issue "replacement" ID cards to suspected radical Islamists to keep them from traveling to Syria or other countries to wage jihad, the international-oriented German outlet Deutsche Welle reported.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, shows a replacement temporary identity card during a press conference in Berlin, Friday Oct. 17, 2014. Germany is drawing up plans to withdraw the identity cards of Islamic extremists suspected of planning to travel to Iraq or Syria to join terrorist groups. Thomas de Maiziere said Friday security officials plan to issue such suspects with a replacement temporary identity card stating in several languages that it doesn't entitle the holder to leave the country. De Maiziere says it's already possible to withdraw people's passports but officials hadn't previously come up with a way to withhold or mark the plastic identity cards Germans can use to travel to many countries in and beyond the European Union. More than 2,000 Europeans, including at least 450 from Germany, have joined the Islamic State group and other extremist organizations in recent years. (AP Photo/dpa, Wolfgang Kumm)

Syria has been the center of recent fighting in the Middle East and was the birthplace of the Islamic State.

"We don't want terrorism to be exported," de Maiziere said. "We don't want men and women to be radicalized here and to travel to Syria and Iraq to come back here ready to fight and to plan attacks."

Before Friday, German officials could deny passports to suspected jihadists, but a German ID card was usually enough for a committed jihadist to get to Syria, via Turkey, anyway, Deutsche Welle reported.

Other options had been considered before officials decided to give suspected radicals the "replacement" cards.

"The original idea to mark an identification card to prevent someone leaving seems off the cards," de Maiziere said. "It's difficult to implement this with plastic cards and probably wouldn't be understood at other borders."

Deutsche Welle reported that roughly 450 people are believed to have left Germany to fight in Syria, and 150 of those people are believed to have returned to Germany since fighting.

As TheBlaze has previously reported, many Islamic State fighters come from European countries where radicalization of local Muslim populations is a pressing concern.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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