International operation 'punches a hole' in Islamic State propaganda operations

European, US and Canadian law enforcement say their action will "severely disrupt the propaganda flow"

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European, Canadian and US police say they have 'punched a big hole' in Islamic State's propaganda operations.

The operation involved law enforcement from Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Romania, the United Kingdom and the USA.

According to Europol, operations have been targetting the IS-linked Amaq News Agency since the end of 2015.

The agency has been used by IS to claim responsibility for a number of international attacks, such as those in Paris and Brussels, and has been dubbed the "main mouthpiece of IS".

The international operation against Amaq is said to have culminated in a 'simultaneous multinational takedown' on Wednesday and Thursday.

The operation also hit IS-linked media outlets al-Bayan radio, Halumu and Nashir news.

Europol claims the militant group's capacity to 'broadcast and publicise terrorist material has been compromised'.

Rob Wainwright, Executive Director of Europol, said: ‘With this ground-breaking operation we have punched a big hole in the capability of IS to spread propaganda online and radicalise young people in Europe.

"I applaud the determined and innovative work by Europol and its partners to target a major part of the international terrorist threat prevalent in Europe today."

Islamic State - which, at its peak, controlled land that was home to millions of people - has lost huge swathes of territory in recent years in both Iraq and Syria.

However, they retain control of some pockets of land, mostly in eastern Syria.