A new EU counter-terrorism unit will tackle extremists online

Pierluigi Paganini March 14, 2015

The Eu plans for a new European counter-terrorism unit that  will tackle extremists online in a joint effort of law enforcement from various states.

Terrorists are exploiting the web for propaganda purpose and to menace the Western infidels for this reason intelligence agencies and law enforcement need to increase their efforts to tackle any kind of extremist content online.

Group of terrorists and sympathizers are sharing an impressive amount of extremist content online, social media, mobile platforms, and the Deep Web offer privileged environment to share the dangerous content.

A recent research published by the Brookings Institution reported that between September and December 2014, ISIS supporters were in control of at least 46,000 accounts across the social network. The ISIS has released a manual for its militants, titled “How to Tweet Safely Without Giving out Your Location to NSA”, that explain how avoid surveillance.

European Governments are urging the creation of a new counter-terrorism unit that will be specialized in the analysis of any phenomena related to group of terrorists operating on the Internet. Government ministers from EU member states proposed the counter-terrorism unit at an EU Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting recently, the new Internet Referral Unit would come under the control of Europol. The EU members aim to start the new counter-terrorism unit by 1 June.

“The internet is a major facilitator for radicalisation to terrorism. Addressing this matter poses a number of different challenges,” a briefing document detailing the plans says. It adds: “The sheer volume of internet content promoting terrorism and extremism requires pooling of resources and a close cooperation with the industry.” reported the BBC.

The terror attack in Paris on the editorial staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo have triggered an escalation of events, the fear of new clamorous attacks is high and the ISIS has recently announced retaliate against the UK, France and Italy.

Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s counter-terrorism chief, explained that tragic events in Paris elevated the need to tackle extremism across the Union, with a specific reference to online activities of cells of terrorists operating on the Internet.

terrorism isis cnn

In Europe, various states already have in place operative units that investigated on terrorism on the Internet, one of the most popular team in the British Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU).

The new counter-terrorism unit planned by European Governments will rely on a strong co-operation of different intelligence agencies and law enforcement.

The new counter-terrorism unit will be expected to flag “terrorist and extremist online content”, the unit will provide the necessary support to the investigations by law enforcement agencies and will improve information sharing on the threat.

“Each member state would be expected to nominate a partner authority to work with the new unit.” “This can be the national cybercrime or internet safety department, or a dedicated unit dealing with terrorist content on-line,” states the document.

The council wants the unit to be operational by 1 June this year, with the funds being provided by member states.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  ISIS, counter-terrorism unit)

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