Computer specialists in Russia have joined forces with Muslim Scholars to create a computer program that can automatically locate accounts used by the Islamic State to recruit new members into their terrorist organization.
The project is taking place at the Center for Research of Legitimacy and Political Protest. It is being led by Yevgeny Venediktov, and it will make use of a program called “Laplace’s Demon”, which was created last spring by information technology specialists of the center.
The program searches for accounts with possible connections to ISIS. The contacts are then transferred to the center’s specialists in Islam and Arabic studies. This is achieved by hunting for distorted quotes from the Koran, as well as comments in Arabic that are typical in nature of terrorists.
Specialists at the center are then able to send messages to the suspected ISIS members and analyze their replies in order to figure out if they are real members of terrorist organizations.
The center also maintains a specialized program that collects information about a terrorist recruiter’s hardware, potentially allowing them to hack their computer.
Russian officials have stated that they believe that the new tool will be extremely useful in their fight against terrorism and that ISIS is the main target of their search. The program received about 3,000 supporters over the internet last year.
Meanwhile, law enforcement officials in Russia are working on obtaining the profiles of potential recruiters for ISIS so that they can focus on preventing them from obtaining more members.
Russia reportedly has a list of more than 4,400 citizens that the country suspects of being involved in extremist activities or terrorism. In 2014, the list reportedly only had about 2,800 people.
Russia officially declared ISIS and the affiliated group Al-Nursa Front to be enemy terrorist organizations last year. Russian citizens have been banned from participating in these organizations, and the country has stated that those who support them will face criminal charges.
Russia began conducting airstrikes on ISIS forces in Syria earlier this month. However, many of the attacks have been against Syrian rebel groups, as Russia is trying to keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power. Many of these rebel groups are allies of the United States.