A joint security operation by Russia and its five East European and Asian partners has foiled 50,000 recruitment websites linked to the Islamic State militant group targeting Central Asian would-be jihadists, the head of the CSTO security organization said.
The operation, codenamed Proxi, was launched by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to thwart ISIL’ ambitious recruitment program in Central Asia. The CSTO group comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
“A total of 57,000 websites were identified as a threat to collective security. The activities of 50,000 of them were suspended, some [further] webpages are being looked into,” CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha said at the organization’s summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
There has been a significant rise in terrorist-linked online activities in the Central Asian region, Bordyuzha noted.
CSTO’s key objective is to fight against “international terrorism and other nontraditional threats to security,” the organization’s website says. It cooperates with the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and other regional and international organizations.
The ISIL threat has come to the forefront of global anti-terrorism efforts since its rise in the Middle East in summer 2014. The group has been trying to rally more people around its cause of creating a caliphate based on a strict version of Islamic law.