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EU leaders to broaden anti-terror drive at summit next week

BRUSSELS — European Union leaders plan to call next week for tougher border checks to stop foreign fighters, the swift adoption of an air passenger information deal and increased intelligence sharing.

A draft of the statement for next Thursday's summit, obtained by The Associated Press on Friday, said "the security of citizens is an immediate necessity. We must better implement the tools we have and develop them further."

The leaders will also call for the monitoring and removal of Internet content that promotes terrorism and new projects to boost the counter-terrorism abilities of Middle East and North African countries.

The 28-nation EU has been spurred into an anti-terror drive by the deadly terror attacks in France last month and a series of police raids targeting those who go abroad for jihad.

In particular, the leaders want to toughen the rules governing passport controls on the EU's external borders.

It would allow for "systematic checks against all relevant databases" to find suspect movements, including those of foreign fighters, the draft says.

Under the current rules of the Schengen free movement zone, random, but not systematic, checks are allowed.

The leaders will urge lawmakers to "urgently adopt" an airline Passenger Name Record deal. The EU has PNR deals with the United States, Canada and Australia but a system for sharing data among its own members has been held up over privacy concerns. France and Belgium say such a system is vital for tracking fighters heading to Syria and Iraq.

Fighting Internet radicalization is another key concern, and the leaders call for greater cooperation between public authorities and the private sector at the EU level.

The EU's counter-terror coordinator wants EU agencies to help companies like Google remove extremist videos from its sites.

The leaders also urge the swift adoption of laws to combat the spread of illegal weapons.