Isis is gaining a lot of power in the last years, in part because they are an organized group that works like an oiled machine, but in part because they have a very powerful propaganda machine, allowed them to even recruit foreign fighters.
For this reason, the Europol intends to create a new Europe-wide police unit to search for the core leaders of Isis’s social media propaganda campaign. The police unit will track the leaders responsible for an average of 100.000 tweets a day.
Europol is running this operation that will start on July 1st and the goal of the organization is to take down Isis accounts in two hours (after being detected).
“Who is it reaching out to young people, in particular, by social media, to get them to come, in the first place? It’s very difficult because of the dynamic nature of social media.” Rob Wainwright, Europol’s director, told to the newspaper the Guardian
The Europol Director Wainwright added that they will be working closely with social media companies, to identify accounts that are being used for the propaganda, until the moment no social media company name was given.
Wainwright explained that the new unit aim is to “identify the ringleaders online”.
From all the European countries, United Kingdom is one of the most affected by Isis propaganda, and there was reported cases of young people leaving their home to join Isis (In Iraq or Syria), men to fight in battle, women marry Isis army.
Last week, again, it was showed the power of Isis and the ability of its members to penetrate into United Kingdom communities, “Talha Asmal, a 17-year-old from Dewsbry, West Yorkshire, is believed to have killed himself in a suicide bombing in Iraq, while three Bradford sisters are feared to have fled to Syria with their nine children in the hope of joining a brother who has been fighting the Assad regime.”showed the power of Isis and the ability of its members to penetrate into United Kingdom communities, “Talha Asmal, a 17-year-old from Dewsbry, West Yorkshire, is believed to have killed himself in a suicide bombing in Iraq, while three Bradford sisters are feared to have fled to Syria with their nine children in the hope of joining a brother who has been fighting the Assad regime.”
Theresa May, The Home Secretary said “The threat … that we face is a common one shared by many of your countries. And if we are to defeat it, we need to work together.
“We have also supported the EU in setting up an internet-referral unit at Europol to address the increasing amount of terrorist and extremist propaganda available on the internet, and I am pleased to say the UK will be seconding a police officer to this unit.”
The fight against the ISIS propaganda is very hard, members of the terrorist organizations and sympathizers not only use social media but also exploit encrypted online conversations for their activities.
The announcement of the EUROPOL comes a few weeks later the information disclosed by Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division, that said the Bureau admitted its inability to monitor encrypted online conversations, these communications are ordinarily exploited by the ISIS for propaganda and to recruit new militants.
About the Author Elsio Pinto
Edited by Pierluigi Paganini
(Security Affairs – Europol, ISIS)