- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Russians who want to stay up to date on the movements of the Islamic State group are running into a cyberwall that blocks the work of Western analysts.

Aaron Zelin, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, along with Belgian analyst Pieter Van Ostaeyen have both been blocked in Russia, Radio Liberty reported Tuesday. Mr. Zelin writes at Jihadology.net.

Mr. Van Ostaeyen told the website that it was “completely insane” for Russian authorities to block his work. He added that when readers attempt to access his website, a message pops up that reads: “This site has been blocked by order of the government in Russia.”

Radio Liberty conducted its own investigation and found that other Western analysts who have been writing academic pieces on the radical Sunni terror group have been blocked by the Russian government.

Moscow has attempted to take down sites that post material relating to the Islamic State group, but it is unclear why writers who do not endorse the ideology appear to have been included in the digital policing efforts.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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