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Taj Mahal security elevated following threat from Islamic State (ISIS) Terrorist Group

After the release of graphics indicating towards threat to one of the wonders of the world, security tightened at the Taj Mahal

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Is Taj Maha just a 'cemetery'? Pixabay
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Lucknow, Mar 18, 2017: Security at the Taj Mahal has been amplified following a media report about a threat to the heritage site from terror group ISIS.

“A link has been circulated in which it is claimed that Taj Mahal is on the target of ISIS. We are probing it. However, security has been enhanced in and around the monument,” Additional Director General, Law and Order, Daljeet Singh Chowdhury told PTI.

After a website showed graphics of a terrorist standing beside the Taj Mahal with a something resembling a weapon, the security was enhanced. According to reports, a pro-ISIS media group published a graphic depicting Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world, as a possible target of the terror outfit.

After a website showed graphics of a terrorist standing beside the Taj Mahal with a something resembling a weapon, the security was enhanced. According to reports, a pro-ISIS media group published a graphic depicting Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world, as a possible target of the terror outfit.

The graphic was released a week after security agencies executed combing operation in Uttar Pradesh in which Saifullah, one of the accused was killed while six others were arrested.

As per reports, Saifullah carried out a train attack in Bhopal after he brainwashed by the ISIS through online medium.

The graphic shows an ISIS wearing combat gear and a black headgear, armed with an assault rifle standing beside the taj Mahal. It also features three inset pictures- an image of Taj Mahal within crosshairs with the words “New Target” below it, a van with the Arabic text “Agra istishhad” (Agra martyrdom-seeker) written in English, implying the threat of a suicide bombing, and an image of a “bomb”.

The Taj Mahal, the biggest attraction for foreign and domestic tourists, is now protected by internal security provided by Central Industrial Military Force, a central para-military force which provides protection for industrial units, metro rail, airports along with other sensitive places.

The Uttar Pradesh Police and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) man the outer periphery.

Outside the 500 metre security ring, police teams keep a strict watch on the movement of vehicles both on the western gate parking and the Shilpgram parking slot towards the eastern gate.

-Prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf

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Facebook, Twitter Urged to Do More to Police Hate on Sites

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Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Fake accounts on Twitter are many. VOA

Tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google are taking steps to police terrorists and hate groups on their sites, but more work needs to be done, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday.

The organization released its annual digital terrorism and hate report card and gave a B-plus to Facebook, a B-minus to Twitter and a C-plus to Google.

Facebook spokeswoman Christine Chen said the company had no comment on the report. Representatives for Google and Twitter did not immediately return emails seeking comment.

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said Facebook in particular built “a recognition that bad folks might try to use their platform” as its business model. “There is plenty of material they haven’t dealt with to our satisfaction, but overall, especially in terms of hate, there’s zero tolerance,” Cooper said at a New York City news conference.

Rick Eaton, a senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center, said hateful and violent posts on Instagram, which is part of Facebook, are quickly removed, but not before they can be widely shared.

He pointed to Instagram posts threatening terror attacks at the upcoming World Cup in Moscow. Another post promoted suicide attacks with the message, “You only die once. Why not make it martyrdom.”

Cooper said Twitter used to merit an F rating before it started cracking down on Islamic State tweets in 2016. He said the move came after testimony before a congressional committee revealed that “ISIS was delivering 200,000 tweets a day.”

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This photo shows Facebook launched on an iPhone, in North Andover, Mass., June 19, 2017. VOA

Cooper and Eaton said that as the big tech companies have gotten more aggressive in shutting down accounts that promote terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism, promoters of terrorism and hate have migrated to other sites such as VK.com, a Facebook lookalike that’s based in Russia.

There also are “alt-tech” sites like GoyFundMe, an alternative to GoFundMe, and BitChute, an alternative to Google-owned YouTube, Cooper said.

“If there’s an existing company that will give them a platform without looking too much at the content, they’ll use it,” he said. “But if not, they are attracted to those platforms that have basically no rules.”

The Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism. (VOA)