A globally coordinated effort with British and Indian intelligence agencies coming together with Bangalore City Police led to the swift arrest of 24-year-old Mehdi Masroor Biswas, the alleged owner of the pro-IS Twitter account @ShamiWitness early on Saturday.
Biswas, an engineering graduate from Kolkata and working as a manufacturing executive at ITC Foods in the city since 2012, was picked up from his one-room flat at Jalahalli in the city’s north-eastern part. The arrest came just hours after he established contact on his mobile phone with Channel 4 representatives for the second time.
Sources say all telephone call traffic between Bengaluru and London was being monitored since Friday, after Channel 4 broadcast the first interview that unmasked his identity. Officials said the operation had MI6, the British intelligence agency, passing information to their Indian counterparts. A Bengaluru Police official said that once they had Mehdi’s mobile number, it was easy to track him down.
The police have now booked cases against Mehdi under Section 125 of Indian Penal Code for waging war against an Asian power that is in alliance with India (in this case Syria), Sections 18 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 2012, and Section 66-F of the Information Technology Act for cyber terrorism. At a press conference on Saturday, Police Commissioner M.N. Reddi said: “Through his social media propaganda, he abetted IS in its agenda to wage war against Asian powers.”
Britain’s MI6 helps India home in on Mehdi A globally coordinated effort with British and Indian intelligence agencies coming together with Bangalore City Police led to the swift arrest of 24-year-old Mehdi Masroor Biswas, the alleged owner of the pro-IS Twitter account @ShamiWitness
>Read hereMehdi was under surveillance for long The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which has been closely watching the developments in the case, rendered assistance to the Bengaluru police in guiding their probe and lodging of the FIR against the 24-year-old techie.
>Read hereMehdi reigned in the virtual world: police Police Commissioner M. N. Reddi said though most of the tweets from arrested Bangalore techie Mehdi Biswas were translations of Arabic tweets and re-tweets, he also had tweeted his radical opinions which he described as ‘instigating’.
>Read hereA studious boy who did not mix with people Mehdi, a graduate of electrical engineering, had gone to Bengaluru in 2012 after he was offered a job with ITC after a campus recruitment process.
>Read hereAll attention on Jalahalli bylane t is the place where Mehdi Masroor Biswas, handler of pro-Islamic State Twitter account @ShamiWitness lived.
>Read hereHe wanted to be an ideologue Though Mehdi Masroor Biswas in his interview to Channel 4, claimed that he wanted to be there with the IS fighters at the frontline, a senior official who interrogated him said that he was not excited by being a mere foot soldier but aimed high — to be an ideologue high up in the value chain of the movement.
>Read hereFather had not heard of IS "My son said that his internet account is hacked. I don’t believe that my son has any link with ISIS," M. Biswas, father of Mehdi Masroor Biswas, said in Kolkata.