A cross-border policing unit has been created to combat ISIS supporters online and “take the oxygen from the way in which they use the Internet,” its director told NBC News.

The European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) was launched by law enforcement body Europol on Wednesday. It is aiming to “take back control of the Internet” from ISIS’ increasingly-prolific supporters on Twitter and other social networks.

In an interview with NBC News, Europol Director Rob Wainwright described the group’s online presence as a “terrorist ecosystem” of tens of thousands of accounts that were run by “masterminds of propaganda.”

Speaking at Europol’s headquarters in the Hague, Wainwright said the EU IRU was “determined to … track this content and remove it, take it off the Internet so that we can all enjoy the Internet as a safe and free part of our lives.”

Since ISIS emerged last year, its online supporters have utilized social media far more effectively than other extremist group before them.

They have become renowned for posting polished videos of training camps and grisly executions, while setting up Twitter accounts faster than authorities have been able to delete them.

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