U.S. seizes terrorist websites used to recruit, destabilize Iraq

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Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The United States has seized websites used by an Iran-backed terrorist organization to recruit new members and further destabilize the political situation in Iraq, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

In a statement, the Justice Department said it seized two websites on Aug. 31 that function as the media arm of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iraq-based militant group that the U.S. Treasury blacklisted and the State Department designated as a foreign terrorist organization in 2009.

"Once again, we see designated foreign terrorist organizations turning to the Internet to push their message and recruit followers for their violent causes. We will continue to fight terror recruitment and propaganda efforts in the digital world as we do elsewhere," John Demers, assistant attorney general for National Security, said.

The terrorist organization used the two websites Aletejahtv.com and Aletejahtv.org to publish videos, articles and photographs on the Internet to recruit members to its ranks and to destabilize Iraq, the Justice Department said, adding the websites also functioned as an online television broadcast channel.

The domain names are owned and operated by a U.S. company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, authorities said.

"Attempts to surreptitiously utilize U.S.-based online networks and services to promote Iran-backed terrorist propaganda will immediately be disrupted, disabled and seized," said P. Lee Smith of the Department of Commerce. "The industry and Security is committed to ensuring the stability of the Iraqi government and protecting our troops and allied forces against terrorist acts."

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