Iraqi security forces have stepped up intelligence efforts aimed at taking out "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) networks engaged in the online recruitment of youth, an official in Diyala province told Diyaruna Friday (August 2nd).
This comes after the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council announced on Tuesday "the arrest of a terrorist cell consisting of two men and one woman who worked to recruit young people to join the ranks of ISIS via social media".
The cell was dismantled in al-Muqdadiya district of Diyala province, the council said in a statement, noting that the Baquba Investigative Court has taken all necessary procedures against the suspects and "legally approved their confessions according to the provisions of the anti-terrorism law".
Security and intelligence services in the province have stepped up activities related to the monitoring of the internet, Diyala provincial council member Sajid al-Anbaki told Diyaruna.
They are monitoring fake online accounts and pages in order to uncover ISIS cells that seek to stir up religious resentment and indoctrinate youth with extremist ideology, he said.
"The terrorists continue to exploit social networking sites to attract youth to their ranks," he said, adding that this requires increased vigilance against the group's attempts to inject new blood into its ranks.
Eliminating ISIS cells
Al-Anbaki expressed confidence in the security forces' ability to eliminate all secret ISIS recruitment networks, stressing that the Diyala provincial council and local government "support any security and intelligence measures taken in this regard".
It is imperative that all official and non-official institutions work together to "educate and guide young people, give them care, and put their potential to use so they are not easy prey for terrorist and criminal groups", he said.
Meanwhile, ISIS remnants in Diyala are collapsing due to the intensive security campaigns against them, he said.
"Despite some limited terrorist activity, especially in remote areas, the province generally enjoys good security," al-Anbaki said.
In recent days, Iraqi forces combed the areas of Hamreen, Khanaqin and al-Saadiya, he said, adding that they killed or arrested "eight terrorists belonging to the so-called Wilayat Diyala" and destroyed four rest-houses.
Security services intend to carry out more pre-emptive operations against ISIS before Eid al-Adha, he added.