November 25, 2019 / 12:11 PM / 21 days ago

Europe police agency hits Islamic State servers in blow to jihadist publicity

THE HAGUE, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Belgian prosecutors have knocked out several internet servers used by Islamic State, shutting a large number of accounts and websites run by its news arm, in an operation led by Europe’s police agency, the Belga press agency reported on Monday.

Europol, the European policy agency, said it would release details of the initiative at a news conference later on Monday.

“We were able to shut down a large number of accounts and a series of websites,” Belga quoted prosecution spokesman Eric Van Der Sypt as saying.

Europol said in a statement it has been working with nine of the largest Internet platforms to counter Islamic State propaganda operations, including with Google, Twitter, Instagram and Telegram.

Europol said on its website it had examined “propaganda videos, publications and social media accounts supporting terrorism and violent extremism” over the course of two days last week.

“Telegram was the online service provider” where most offending material was found, Europol said.

“As a result, a significant portion of key actors within the IS network on Telegram was pushed away from the platform.”

It praised Telegram’s assistance and said the company was helping Europol to “root out ... malicious content.” (Reporting by Toby Sterling, Editing by William Maclean)

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