PARIS - Nine European Union nations urged the European Parliament on Thursday to set aside privacy concerns and back plans for an EU-wide passenger data list aimed at thwarting suspected militants traveling from Europe to fight in Syria.
EU governments say hundreds of their citizens are joining rebel forces battling Syrian President Bashar Assad. They fear some of these newly-trained fighters - estimated at up to 600 people - will return home to carry out attacks in Europe.
Complicating authorities' efforts to track the potential extremists is the absence of a European system to store airline passengers' personal details. Experts believe most Europeans fly to Turkey before crossing the porous border into Syria.