A special Europe-wide police unit is reportedly being set up to hunt down social media accounts affiliated to the Islamic State (Isis) terrorist group.
The Islamic State militants have been extensively using Twitter as its main source of propaganda outlet to increase its support base across the world. The terrorist group has been using social media for publicising its beheading videos, messages and pictorial reports.
American think tank Brookings Institution had in January published an extensive report detailing how some 46,000 Isis-affiliated Twitter accounts work in coordination, using the most trending hashtags to spread its ideology.
The European police agency Europol, which will start its work from 1 July, will track down key Isis figures on Twitter and other social media platforms, The Guardian reported.
Europol director Rob Wainwright has revealed that the police will be working with social media companies. He however refused to reveal the names of companies to The Guardian.
In March, social media experts JM Berger and data scientist Jonathan Morgan, had released a study, titled 'The ISIS Twitter Census', which revealed that the militant group, through social media, has been able to penetrate into countries across the globe.
The study found that the Islamic State between September and December 2014 alone had 46,000 accounts. Each of these Isis affiliate accounts had at least 1,000 followers.
The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, a think tank at King's College London estimates that there are at least 3,300 western European people fighting for the terrorist group in Syria. There are also around 100 Americans, who are believed to have joined the Isis.
An estimated 2,500 fighters in the Isis are from Saudi Arabia. US officials believe that the Sunni radical group has recruited people from some 90 countries.