European Police Flag 500+ Pieces of Terrorist Content
European police have found and referred 563 pieces of terrorist content to service providers in the region, as a UK man was jailed for sharing a bomb-making manual online.
The Referral Action Day took place last week at Europol’s headquarters. The EU’s Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) coordinated the referral activity with specialized counter-terrorism units from France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.
In particular, they were looking for content on “explosive chemical precursors” being shared online by terrorist-supporting networks, including jihadists. This refers to content such as bomb-making tutorials and information on carrying out terrorist attacks.
The content found on 106 websites and platforms will now be assessed by the relevant online service providers against their terms and conditions.
Last November, over 20 websites in Germany and the UK were suspended by service providers for disseminating online terrorist propaganda – fewer than half the number of sites originally flagged by police.
However, a new EU regulation will soon give the authorities the power to demand the removal of online terrorist content.
The news comes after a 19-year-old UK man was sentenced to 42 months in jail for sharing a bomb-making manual on social media.
Connor Burke, from southeast London, pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court to disseminating a terrorist publication that contained information on how to create improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
He also pleaded guilty to four counts of possession of a document “likely to be useful” to a would-be terrorist.
“Burke had an unhealthy interest in extreme right-wing terrorist ideology, and this led to him sharing extremely dangerous material with others online,” argued Richard Smith, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command.
“Increasingly, we’re seeing young people being drawn into extremist ideologies, some of whom – like Burke – then go on to commit serious terrorism offenses.