The Republic of Srpska Ministry of the Interior
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| Banja Luka | Friday, 14/06/2024

The Republic of Srpska Ministry of the Interior participated in Europol’s investigation that lasted for a year and whose aim were terrorist-operated websites. The operation, implemented by police agencies from 10 European countries, culminated this week in a targeted referral action to take these websites down.

This joint effort, also known as operation HOPPER II, was focused on disrupting online dissemination of terrorist propaganda whose motives were both political and religious across the ideological spectrum, thereby limiting the ability of terrorist organisations to recruit, radicalise and mobilise recruiters online.

This week, Europol referred 13 websites spreading terrorist propaganda to hosting service providers for removal. This follows the seizure of four servers in Romania, Ukraine and Iceland over the course of the investigation and the removal of associated websites. However, there is a possibility that new copycat domains will emerge for websites operated by terrorists, violent extremists and their supporters.

The European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) within Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre coordinated this operation. It involved law enforcement authorities from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Moldova, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

This operation is a crucial part of the EU IRU’s ongoing work against websites operated by terrorists and violent extremists, which serve as key platforms for the dissemination of violent ideologies. Generally, identifying, flagging, investigating and disrupting these websites has become a key function of the EU IRU through the technical solution Europol developed in-house – the EU Platform on illicit content online (PERCI).