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FSB head urges special services to join efforts in fighting against Islamic State

July 29, 2015, 11:41 UTC+3 YAROSLAVL

Terrorists are actively using new technologies and software that allows them to encrypt their network traffic and remain anonymous, Alexander Bortnikov says

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Islamic State militants

Islamic State militants

© Militant website via AP)

YAROSLAVL, July 29. /TASS/. Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) director Alexander Bortnikov has called Wednesday for joining efforts of special services to counter the growing threat from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization.

"I think that the current situation requires operational and decisive actions in the framework of joint strategy that envisages physical, informational and ideological suppression of terrorist movement," Bortnikov told the XIV Meeting of heads of special services, security services and law enforcement agencies that opened in Russia’s Yaroslavl today.

UN Counter-Terrorism Committee should coordinate measures of countering the ideology of terrorism and developing common approaches at the level of separate countries and in the framework of international cooperation, FSB director stressed.

"For a start, it is necessary to complete the development of unified interpretation of ‘terrorism’ in order to rule out any ambiguity and generalization in the future," Bortnikov added.

"The community of special services should establish effective multifaceted cooperation in the informational sphere," he said noting that "terrorists made the Internet an important instrument of shaping ultra-radical outlook." Most international terrorist organizations have their own websites on the Internet and publish different materials in more than 40 languages. "More than that, terrorists are actively using new technologies and software that allows them to encrypt their network traffic and remain anonymous," Bortnikov stressed.

He added that terrorists’ calls for violent actions should be immediately blocked, and Internet resources with such content should be closed. However, blocking access to such websites "unfortunately, not always allows to promptly identify and counter propaganda of extremism and terrorism," the FSB director continued. Specialists from special services should share their experience and synchronize approaches to creating specialized software, he recommended.

Citizens of more than 100 countries fighting in Islamic State ranks

People from more than 100 countries are fighting in the ranks of the Islamic State group, and the international community is often late with the adequate and timely response, Alexander Bortnikov said.

"Today, and we must openly admit it, we are facing a threat of a completely different scope — the terrorist international represented by Islamic State. According to our estimates, citizens of more than 100 countries are currently fighting in its ranks," Bortnikov noted.

The expansion of the geographical area where new Islamic State supporters come from, an increase in the number of those leaving for "Jihad", the diversity of their ethnic and social origins suggests that Islamic State has grabbed the initiative acting aggressively on the propaganda front and actually imposing its "agenda", the FSB director noted.

"However, the world community is often late with the adequate and timely response," Alexander Bortnikov went on to say. "Taking advantage of this, Islamists operating in the Middle East and North Africa are targeting Europe and Asia. The gunmen switched from the tactics of delivering pinpoint strikes to full-scale combat operations with the use of heavy weapons."

Bortnikov added that "the uninterrupted funding of Islamic State was ensured by the seizure of Iraqi and Syrian oil fields, the illegal trade of energy resources, and the sponsorship from their supporters and patrons from abroad."

"At the same time, crash courses for foreign terrorists work like an assembly line. Uniting under its "flag" various isolated terrorist groups, Islamic State actively recruits new adherents all over the world," the FSB director said.

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