By Barry Ellsworth
Police in Canada, Europe and the United States shut down Daesh propaganda sites in a coordinated international strike to identify radicals and silence their message of hate, authorities reported Friday.
Particularly targeted were the sites Aamaq news agency, al-Bayan radio and the Halumu and Nasher news sites.
Authorities seized servers and data in an operation that began in late 2015 after Daesh attacks in Paris killed 130 people, the Europol police agency said in a statement.
The two-day operation ended Wednesday but was announced by authorities Friday.
Belgium authorities led the operation with help from their counterparts in Canada, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Romania and the United States.
A spokesperson from Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s office said little about how the operation was conducted but was clear that such actions are imperative.
“Terrorist organizations like Daesh continue to use the internet to recruit new members and radicalize people to their violent ideology,” he told media. “Identifying and removing this material is a priority for law enforcement agencies around the world.
“As this related to an ongoing law enforcement operation, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.”
Daesh has made good use of the internet to reach disenchanted Muslims worldwide and persuade them to carry out attacks.
While the Europol statement said that the move “punched a big hole” in the Daesh propaganda machine, it did not silence it completely.
Friday, Daesh statements continued on some sites through Telegram, an encrypted network.
Word of the operation comes a day after representatives from 70 countries met at an international conference in Paris and pledged to work together to reduce illegal currency flows.
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