Iceland shuts down 'ISIS' website

REYKJAVIK (AFP) - Iceland has closed down a website believed to be used by the militant organisation Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to the authority responsible for the country's Internet domain name ".is".

"ISNIC has suspended domains that were used for the website of a known terrorist organisation," the Internet in Iceland Inc authority said in a statement late Sunday.

The site "" - which ISNIC said was run by a group calling itself ISIS - was traced back to a web hosting company on the island nation at the weekend and was believed to have been online since mid-September.

Several other websites with the name "khilafah" - or caliphate, an Islamic state which ISIS militants claim to have established in parts of Iraq and Syria - already exist in other countries with other domain name endings, including ".com" and ".org" and without clear links to the group.

ISNIC head Jens Petur Jensen told public broadcaster RUV that it was the first time Iceland has closed down a domain name and that the ".is" ending seemed to have appealed to the group calling itself ISIS.

In the future, he said, Arabic-language websites using the country's domain would be monitored more closely.

Some Icelandic media reports suggested that it could prove controversial to close down the site due to Iceland's liberal freedom of speech laws but the domain name authority said in a statement that websites have to be "within the limits of Icelandic law".

"It is impossible that this organisation uses an Icelandic domain and it's very unpleasant that they call themselves IS (ISIS) and use the Icelandic domain," Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson told the daily Morgunbladid.

"I asked the ministry to find out how we can close the site down and prevent it opening again under an Icelandic domain," he said.

This has nothing to do with freedom of expression, but criminal and monstrous conduct. We have to be able to shut that down."