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Terror trail: ATS blocks 94 websites, says IS spreading influence

"Influence of ISIS is being seen in 10-12 states (in the country) including Maharashtra. Police have blocked 94 websites in the last year (2015) which were used as a tool to radicalise youth about ISIS," Maha ATS.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Updated: January 25, 2016 12:14 am
Maharashtra, ISIS, ISIS websites, ISIS websites blocked, websites blocked, Maharashtra cops, ATS, maharashtra ATS, INDIA NEWS To counter the “menace of ISIS”, the Maharashtra ATS too has decided to use online tactics.

MAHARASHTRA Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Vivek Phansalkar on Sunday said that the Islamic State (IS) has spread its influence in Maharashtra and as one of the many counter measures, police have till now blocked as many as 94 websites which were linked to the IS. ATS, he said, would soon launch its own website.

Phansalkar was speaking to reporters in the background of arrests of several youths linked to the IS. The arrests were made by the ATS and also by other agencies in the country in past couple of days.

Phansalkar said, “If we take a stock of the cases in which arrests have been made by us and other agencies, I have to say that the IS has spread its influence in Maharashtra just like in 10 to 12 other states. The agencies, at all the levels, have taken it very seriously. There is a systematic propoganda that is being carried and like the way consumers are attracted to the advertisements, these youths are being lured to follow the fundamentalist agenda.”

When asked specifically about the influence of IS in Pune, Phansalkar, “Yes, it is growing in Pune…” Asked about the areas in Pune where IS is spreading its tentacles, Phansalkar refused to comment. He added, “Majority of this radicalisation of the youths is happening online and we have felt an urgent need to initiate counter-measures. ATS will soon be launching its website and attempt will be made to effectively use the social media to propagate our counter-narrative. We have till now blocked 94 websites, which were largely linked to the IS and its line of thoughts.” The request to block these websites were made by ATS and other units of Maharashtra police.

Phansalkar said, the ATS is handling these cases in four stages – Identify, Monitor, Counter and Disrupt. Explaining the difference in cases in which ATS chose to de-radicalise the youths and others in which arrests were made, Phansalkar said, “In the cases in which we had concrete leads that law had been transgressed, we made the arrest. In the cases in which these youths were about to transgress the law, we chose not to arrest and attempt to deradicalise them.” Phansalkar said that there is a constant exchange of information between various state and national agencies and several cases were being monitored simultaneously based on these inputs. He also added that heads of schools, colleges and religious institutions were being roped in for creating awareness among youths and also to keep close watch on any suspicious cases.

In the third week of December last year, Pune ATS had brought to light a case in which a 16-year-old girl from a well-to-do Muslim family had come in touch with IS operatives and had prepared to leave for Syria. Police had started councelling her in an attempt to de-radicalise her.


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  1. I
    Jan 24, 2016 at 8:07 pm
    Pseudos will now view this as intolerance and censorship.
    1. M
      Jan 24, 2016 at 5:19 pm
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      1. F
        Jan 24, 2016 at 8:39 pm
        Good Job sir!! Muslims full support to you. My suggestion is Local masjids imams and elders should be trained for this job they can be valuable volunteers for this great task. In every mosque there should be sessions for all youths (boys and girls) to explain the traps of ISIS and other terrorists. If local mohallas elders are convinced I think much more success can be achieved on this part as most of geninue arrests are thought as traps by ATS, etc. If elders are involved then people by knowing the truth instead of opposition we can expect support from them.
        1. H
          Jan 25, 2016 at 11:52 am
          It has been found that the government agencies lag behind the terrorist groups, who adopts very innovative ways to spread terrorism, and so becomes successful to strike. Efforts of the agencies and blocking of websites will not help much the preaching for terrorism spread through peoples of the authority of that religion. These authorities thinks , the spread of Islam, as their duty. Whatever they speak, is hard to believe till practically proven.
          1. M
            Jan 24, 2016 at 6:08 pm
            Block Facebook which had been recently used by IS to radicalize Muslim youth in India. Blocking of Facebook will rid India of Free Basics which is an attempt by FB to rule Free Internet in India
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