A Europe-wide police unit is reportedly being formed that will be responsible for combing through the World Wide Web to spot social media accounts linked to the Islamic State (IS) and blocking them.
The European police agency, Europol, will team up with unnamed social media companies to track the accounts. The aim will be to shut down accounts linked to the terror group within two hours of being set up, reports the BBC.
Rob Wainwright, Europol’s director, said the new unit will start its work on July 1 and would be an “effective way of combating the problem.” However, he added that tracking all IS-linked social media
accounts was too big a task.
Wainwright said that what the unit observed online would be collated with their own intelligence, so that they could identify the key user accounts and focus on shutting them down.
A recent U.S. study had revealed that at least 46,000 Twitter accounts were linked to the IS.
Aaron Zelin, an expert on jihadist groups at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that these accounts were usually used to lure potential new recruits while, the more direct recruitment
conversations took place on forums such as Skype, WhatsApp and Kik.