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Russia Investigates BBC For Airing What It Calls 'Extremist Ideology'

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Russia's media regulator says it is investigating whether British broadcaster BBC has broken Russian law by allegedly promoting Islamist extremism.

"Checks are under way into whether the BBC's Internet sites...comply with Russian law. To date, material has been uncovered which transmits the ideological principles of a terrorist group (quotes of the terrorist al-Baghdadi)," Roskomnadzor said in a statement on January 10.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the leader of the extremist group Islamic State.

"An investigation is under way into whether these materials are in compliance with the norms of Russian legislation," the Russian watchdog's statement also said.

It also said it would be carrying out a review of the BBC's broadcasting in Russia from January 14 to January 31 and had requested all the necessary documentation from the broadcaster.

Last month, Roskomnadzor said it had started checking the legality of the BBC World News channel's Russian operations and its websites.

The BBC said at the time that it "works in Russia in full compliance with the country's laws and regulations to deliver independent news and information to its audiences."

The announcement came a day after British media watchdog Ofcom said it was considering sanctioning Russia's state-run broadcaster RT, which it accused of violating impartiality rules in seven programs earlier this year.

The British regulator was especially critical of RT's coverage of the March nerve-agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English town of Salisbury.

Britain's government and its allies blamed the Russian government for the poisoning. Moscow denies any involvement.

Since 2012, Ofcom has repeatedly found RT to have breached its rules on impartiality and of broadcasting "materially misleading" content.

With reporting by dpa, Reuters, and the BBC
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