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Fri Mar 10, 2017, 05:41 PM

Congress probes Islamic State counterpropaganda operations

Source: Associated Press

Congress probes Islamic State counterpropaganda operations

By DESMOND BUTLER and RICHARD LARDNER
Mar. 10, 2017 4:40 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) Congressional investigators are demanding documents and contacting witnesses in a wide-ranging probe of the Defense Department's troubled anti-propaganda efforts against the Islamic State group.

The investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform follows reporting by The Associated Press in January that uncovered critical problems with the program known as WebOps and revealed conflicts of interest in a new contract potentially worth $500 million to expand psychological operations against terrorist groups.

The AP found the WebOps program is so beset with incompetence and flawed data that multiple people with direct knowledge of it say it's having little impact.

"Recent allegations of failings in our fight against ISIS, particularly among leadership, are disturbing," the committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said in a statement.

Chaffetz, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the committee's top Democrat, and other lawmakers on the panel requested corporate and government information about the program in separate letters to the contractor running WebOps, Alabama-based Colsa Corp., and to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

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Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/8b6db0267b3f452fa642692d6093b56f/congress-probes-islamic-state-counter-propaganda-operations

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