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Islamic State twitter account handler arrested

Mehdi Masroor Biswas, the handler of a pro-Islamic State twitter account @ShamiWitness. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Mehdi Masroor Biswas, the handler of a pro-Islamic State twitter account @ShamiWitness, was apprehended from his one-room rented apartment in Jalahalli, Bengaluru early Saturday morning.

A press release from the Office of the Commissioner of Police (Bengaluru) said that the 24-year-old was from West Bengal and has been working as a manufacturing executive in a multinational company in Bengaluru since 2012.

“Mehdi Masroor Biswas has confessed to the fact that he was operating the @ShamiWitness Twitter account for the last many years. He got interested in the developments of Levantine region consisting of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Gaza strip, Egypt & Libya etc from 2003 onwards,” the press release said.

Mr. Biswas was an engineer by qualification. His parents and two elder sisters live in West Bengal. His father is a retired employee of WB State Electricity Board.

He used to work in his office during the day and was active on the internet late into the night. “He took a 60GB monthly internet connection and used to read all breaking news websites related to ISIS/ISIL. He had a following of more than 17,000 Twitter users and used to ferociously tweet by aggregating information and closely watching the developments of this region. He was particularly close to the English-speaking terrorists of ISIS and became a source of incitement and information for the new recruits trying to join ISIS/ISIL,” the press note said.

He hid his true identity, confident that would will never get revealed. His identity was exposed by Channel 4 and this information was passed on to Indian agencies. An FIR has been registered against Mr. Biswas under various provisions of IPC, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and IT Act 2000. Investigations are being carried out by the Central Crime Bureau led by Deputy Commissioner Police (Crime).

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 6:20:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/proisis-twitter-account-handler-detained-in-bengaluru/article6688708.ece

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