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U.S. Seeks To Prevent Taliban Use Of Radio, Web

Afghan men listen to the radio at a tea shop in Spin Boldak.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The United States has started a broad effort in Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from using radio stations and websites to intimidate civilians and plan attacks, "The Wall Street Journal" has reported, citing unnamed senior U.S. officials.

U.S. military and intelligence personnel are attempting to jam unlicensed radio stations in parts of Pakistan near the Afghan border used by Taliban fighters, the report said.

They are also trying to block Pakistani chat rooms and websites that frequently contain videos of attacks and inflammatory religious material that attempt to justify violent acts, it said.

The push takes the administration deeper into "psychological operations," which try to influence how the United States, its allies and enemies are seen, the report said, noting that officials involved with the new program say such operations are a necessary part of halting the deterioration of stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The "Journal" said the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs of Staff and Central Intelligence Agency all declined to comment.