updated 4/18/2008 11:49:55 AM ET 2008-04-18T15:49:55

European justice and interior ministers agreed Friday to strengthen EU anti-terror rules, to make the incitement of violence and recruiting people for attacks criminal offenses across the 27-nation bloc.

They also agreed on separate plans for tighter controls on the use and sale of explosives and detonators.

The agreement updates 2002 EU anti-terror laws and makes it easier for police to shut down Web sites peddling terrorist propaganda and bomb-making instructions and to hunt down those training potential terrorists.

"The new legislation will make it easier for law enforcement authorities to get cooperation from Internet service providers (and) to prevent crimes," the EU said in a statement.

While most of the EU's 27 nations already had such rules on their national lawbooks, the EU regulation will standardize definitions of the crimes involved, making it easier for police to hunt down suspects in cross-border investigations.

The 27-nation bloc set up Europe-wide anti-terror laws after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to ensure extremist groups did not benefit from legal loopholes between EU nations.

The new amendments will make recruitment or "public provocation" to commit violent attacks punishable offenses

Separately the EU ministers agreed to set up a European database to monitor cases of stolen explosives. It will be run by the EU's policing agency, Europol, as part of an early warning system that would also monitor who buys certain essential parts like detonators or wiring needed to build bombs.

Most EU nations pushed the European Commission to update the 2002 law to take into account new tactics used by extremist groups in Europe.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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