In fight against ISIS’s propaganda machine, raids and online trench warfare
Source: The Washington Post
THE HAGUE – The campaign started with the cyber equivalent of a massive airstrike: law-enforcement agencies from eight countries, moving in unison to smash two of the main propaganda organs of the Islamic State.
In the two-day operation in April, police seized computers and network servers across Europe and North America and blocked Internet portals used by the terrorist group’s radio broadcaster, al-Bayan, and its official news agency, Amaq. Yet, less than a week later, Amaq suddenly reappeared at a different Web address, forcing the governments to pounce again. Then it surfaced a third time. And a fourth.
Today, more than four months after the European police agency Europol began the initiative, the struggle to silence the Islamic State’s communications flagships has shifted from shock-and-awe to something resembling trench warfare. The extremist group finds new ways to put its messages and videos on the Internet, and counterterrorism teams try again to knock them down, occasionally winning battles but never, it seems, the war.