Maharashtra cops block 94 sites used by ISIS to brainwash youth

Pune: The influence of terror outfit ISIS is being seen in nearly a dozen states, including Maharashtra, where the police have blocked 94 websites allegedly being used to radicalise the youth, a top official said yesterday.

mid-day editorial: The ISIS threat can no longer be ignored

Khalid Nawazuddin, one of 14 suspected ISIS sympathisers, was remanded in police custody till January 30. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Khalid Nawazuddin, one of 14 suspected ISIS sympathisers, was remanded in police custody till January 30. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

"The influence of ISIS is being seen in 10-12 states, including Maharashtra. The police blocked 94 websites last year that were used to radicalise the youth," Maharashtra ATS chief Vivek Phansalkar told reporters.

Also Read: One remanded by ATS in Mumbai for alleged links with ISIS

To counter the "menace of ISIS", the Maharashtra ATS too has decided to use online tactics. "We are preparing to launch a dedicated website of the ATS, which will be used to create awareness in society and to de-radicalise the people who have fallen prey to extremist groups," the ATS chief said, adding, "We have to do a lot of confidence building... and identify, monitor and counter the menace of ISIS in the society."

Read Story: Dad-of-two from Mazgaon among those arrested for alleged ISIS links

He added that the advantage they have is that a lot of community and religious leaders are against the ISIS’ influence and are helping the cops to de-radicalise and create awareness among the youth.

Speaking on the recent joint crackdown by the NIA and the state ATS, Phansalkar said, "There is good coordination between the agencies in the country, and the recent crackdown and 14 arrests of ISIS sympathisers is the fine example of that."

Also Read: Arrested Mumbra man's wife reveals her husband's ISIS links

The officer added the ISIS uses a lot of inflammatory visuals and promises of a Caliphate upon participation for the supreme cause to brainwash young minds.

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