ISIS is developing its own social media platform to rival Facebook where fanatics will be free to recruit others and share extremist material, according to the EU’s top cop.
Europol Director Rob Wainwright said the new online platform had been uncovered during a 48-hour operation targeting internet extremism last week.
More than 2,000 extremist items were identified on 52 social media platforms during the crackdown, which involved officials from the US, Belgium, Greece, Poland, and Portugal.
Speaking at a security conference in London, Wainwright said: “Within that operation it was revealed ISIS was now developing its very own social media platform – its own part of the internet to run its agenda.
“It does show that some members of Daesh (ISIS), at least, continue to innovate in this space.”
Jihadis have often relied on mainstream social media platforms to communicate and to spread propaganda.
Messaging app Telegram has proved especially popular over the past year, with terror chiefs using it to urge lone wolf attacks in the weeks leading up to Khalid Masood’s Westminster rampage.
It has also been used to share instructional videos on how to make suicide belts, along with “idiot’s guides” to other attack methods in the past.
But technology firms like Facebook and Google have come under increasing pressure to do more to tackle extremist material online, prompting the fanatics to explore other options.
Wainwright said ISIS’s decision to try and create its own social media platform was a response to combined pressure from intelligence agencies, police forces and the tech sector.
He said: "We have certainly made it a lot harder for them to operate in this space.
"But we're still seeing the publication of these awful videos – communications operating large scale across the Internet."
He added that he did not know whether it would be technically harder to take down ISIS's own platform.
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