Thursday, July 14, 2016

US to set up centre in KL to combat IS propaganda, FMT Reporters | July 14, 2016; see also.

The centre, similar to the one in UAE, will counter efforts of the terror group to influence and recruit followers.
KUALA LUMPUR: Last year, the US State Department started a data centre in the United Arab Emirates to counter Islamic State’s online propaganda.
It now plans to have a similar centre in Malaysia, according to a Bloomberg report.
The centre would work to undermine the IS’s digital recruitment and propaganda efforts, US Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel told the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington yesterday.
Bloomberg quoted him as saying the centre would fill a gap in the media landscape by countering the “viral spread of disinformation by state and non-state actors”. 
Stengel said as public statements from US government officials condemning the group could easily be used by it as a recruitment tool, US efforts would “focus on amplifying credible voices and lifting up those voices in a coordinated way”.
The new centre here will go into operation as Islamic State recruiters increasingly move away from unprotected networks onto encrypted platforms.
While that makes it harder to track some online conversations, Stengel said success could also be gauged by measuring declines in the flow of foreign fighters to conflict areas and decreased media and social media activity.
Stengel told the committee that companies such as Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc had assisted the fight against IS by being more proactive in removing pro-IS accounts and propaganda.
Yet, IS continues to influence Muslims. This year, the report said, the terrorist group had managed to carry out or inspire mass-casualty attacks in places such as Turkey, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Orlando, Florida.
The grenade attack at the Movida bar at a Puchong mall recently was the first successful attack in Malaysia linked to the IS group. Malaysian police have tightened security following that attack.

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