Pune: Influence of terror outfit Islamic State is being seen in nearly a dozen states, including Maharashtra, where police have blocked 94 websites being used to radicalise the youth, a top official said on Sunday.
"Influence of ISIS is being seen in 10-12 states (in the country) including Maharashtra. Police have blocked 94 websites in the last year (2015) which were used as a tool to radicalise youth about ISIS," Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Vivek Phansalkar told reporters.
To counter the "menace of ISIS", the Maharashtra ATS too has decided to use online tactics.
"We are preparing to launch a dedicated website of ATS, which will be used as a measure and tool to create awareness among the society and to de-radicalise the people who are falling prey to their tactics," the ATS chief said.
"We have to do a lot of confidence building... and identify, monitor and counter the menace of ISIS in the society," Phansalkar added.
According to the officer, the good thing is that a lot of community leaders and religious leaders are against this influence (of IS) and helping the cops to deradicalise and create awareness among the youths.
Speaking on the recent joint crackdown by the National Investigation Agency and the state ATS in the country, he said, "There is a good coordination between the agencies in the country and the recent crackdown and 14 arrests of IS sympathisers is the fine example of that (co-ordination)."
On the modus operandi of IS, the officer said, "These people use a lot of visuals which are inflammatory in nature and show dreams that there will be 'Caliphate’."
When asked whether ATS was recently threatened by IS, he categorically said, "ISIS did not threaten them."
Speaking about the soon-to-be launched website, Phansalkar said, "Counter narratives is necessary and through the website, it is possible to ensure people and we will adopt such tactics to counter the increasing menace."
On 22 January, in a major anti-terror swoop across the country ahead of Republic Day, the NIA had taken into custody several people suspected to be IS sympathisers for plotting attacks in different parts of the country. One of those arrested was from Mumbai.