In a two-day meet that concluded at the NIA headquarters in Delhi, agencies from the European Union and India decided to increase cooperation in countering online radicalisation, strengthen processes to prosecute people who spread terror propaganda over the internet and those involved in online recruitment. Representatives of 13 Indian state police forces and countries such as Spain, France and Belgium, participated in the event held on May 16 and 17.
The meeting discussed the advent of the Islamic State and online propaganda of several such organisations, and deliberated over ways to counter them. The experience of working with online service providers to block and remove such material from the internet was also discussed in detail, sources said. India has had a long-standing problem on this front with most servers located in the US and investigations have been delayed due to non-cooperation from service providers. The situation has recently improved due to cooperation between NIA and FBI.
Participants also discussed the processes leading to radicalisation and recruitment, propaganda networks of different terrorist organisations, tools to identify online extremist materials and their sources, and the need to use electronic evidence in investigations.
NIA DG Yogesh Chander Modi stressed that developing skills to investigate complex terror crimes carried out in the cyber space is the need of the hour. AP Maheshwari, DG of Bureau of Police Research and Development, called for collaborative effort not only between agencies across the world but also family, social leaders, teachers and business houses. Hailing EU-India security cooperation, the Ambassador of France to India, Alexandre Ziegler, said, “Disrupting the distribution of terrorist propaganda online has become a global priority and we will continue to support building of a European database of illegal content, as it is part and parcel of the new French National Plan to Prevent Radicalisation.”