(Strasbourg) A new anti-terrorism directive to defeat “foreign fighters” and track down “lone wolves” who plan terrorist attacks. It has been finally approved by the European Parliament today and, as soon as it ratified – a foregone conclusion – by the EU Council, the member states will have 18 months’ time to comply with it. The EU directive will update the current EU framework legislation on terrorist crimes and will broaden its range of action, to cover new threats too. Punishments for such crimes will be up to 15 years in jail. The EU Parliament’s rapporteur, Monika Hohlmeier, stated from the floor: “We must stop offenders before they commit such crimes instead of regretting any attack. We have achieved a good balance between improved security and strict compliance with fundamental rights”. The list of “preliminary operations” that will be criminalised includes: travelling abroad to join terrorist groups or returning to the EU; recruitment for terrorism; training for terrorism; aiding and abetting or attempted attacks; public instigation or celebrating terrorism; funding terrorism and terrorist groups. The Directive also includes measures to provide immediate assistance to the victims and their parents after an attack.