[JURIST] EU Justice, Freedom, and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini [official profile] said Wednesday that the European Union will move forward with plans to establish an EU-wide airline passenger data recording system despite privacy concerns because the threat posed by terror attacks remains high. Frattini's comments came on the same day that German authorities announced the arrests of three suspected terrorists [press release, in German] who were allegedly planning attacks on both the US-NATO Ramstein Air Base and the international airport in Frankfurt. The German Federal Prosecutor [official website, in German] said that the arrests of the three Islamic militants occurred on Tuesday afternoon, after which they appeared before a judge in the Federal Court of Justice [official website, in German] during a closed hearing. The group, who allegedly trained at terrorist camps run by the Islamic Jihad Union in Pakistan, had amassed nearly 1,500 pounds of hydrogen peroxide - enough to produce a bomb with the equivalent force of 1,200 pounds of TNT.
In July, the EU and US reached a new agreement on passenger data-sharing [JURIST report] under which air carriers will transmit passenger data directly to the US Department of Homeland Security within 15 minutes of a flight's departure for the US. AP has more.