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MOSCOW/TASHKENT, June 24. /TASS/. Security authorities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries blocked almost 200,000 extremist posts on the Internet in 2015, Director of the Organization’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) Yevgeny Sysoyev said in an interview with TASS on Friday.
"With development of the information technologies, becomes more important fighting the use of the virtual space by international terrorist organizations in attracting new allies, in collecting financial assets and in coordination of their terrorist attacks," he said.
Back in 2009, SCO countries signed an agreement on cooperation in international information security, and in 2012 they offered joint measures to prevent use or threat of using computer networks in terrorist, separatist and extremist purposes.
"Intelligence services of the SCO countries cooperate permanently on the basis of this mechanism, use common strategies in fighting the international terrorist organizations on the Internet, as well as block destructive websites in compliance with the legislations of the SCO member countries," he said. "In 2015, security agencies of the SCO countries blocked access to 500 websites and almost 200,000 materials of terrorist contents."
The official said, in October 2015 China hosted the SCO first joint anti-terrorist exercises on fighting use of the Internet for terrorist, separatist and extremist purposes, where the security agencies practiced cooperation algorithms. "In the exercises, we received practical experience in joint actions in planning, preparations and organization of special actions in this sphere," he said.
According to Sysoyev, cooperation of the security services of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states prevented 167 terrorist and extremist crimes in 2015 alone.
He added that the improvement of operational information exchange mechanisms between the SCO law enforcement agencies contributed to the expansion of the practice of interaction in specific operational and search activities.
"So, in 2015 the competent authorities of the SCO member states prevented 167 terrorist and extremist crimes. Criminal charges were brought against more than 200 individuals. As many as 150 terrorists were liquidated, about 1,000 of their accomplices were detained, 200 improvised explosive devices and 1,500 weapon units were seized", Sysoyev said.
According to him, the competent authorities of the SCO member states "cooperate closely in conducting a broad range of joint organizational, operational and investigative, preventive and other activities."
"The RATS Council approved the joint activities that are currently in effect in the following priority spheres: identifying the channels of movement of persons to the regions with increased terrorist activity for taking part in internal armed conflicts on the side of international terrorist organizations; identifying and bringing to justice the individuals returning to the territory of the SCO member states after participating in armed conflicts on the side of international terrorist, separatist and extremist organizations; countering the recruitment to terrorist and extremist organizations of persons serving sentences in prisons in the SCO member states territory and others," the director of the SCO RATS Executive Committee said.