IS tweeter Mehdi held

Police say he is a sympathiser of the jihadi group

IS tweeter Mehdi held

A day after Channel 4 reported that a pro-Islamic State (IS) twitter handle @ShamiWitness was being operated from the City, the police on Saturday arrested the owner of the account, Mehdi Masroor Biswas (24).

Mehdi was arrested at his single-room rented flat at Aiyappanagar at Jalahalli. The police seized two laptops and several mobile phones.

Director-General and Inspector General of Police Lalrokhuma Pachuau and Police Commissioner M N Reddi told a crowded press conference that  cases have been registered against Mehdi at Gangammanagudi police station under Section 125 of the Indian Penal Code, Section 18 and 39 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Section 66 (F) of the Information Technology Act.

Mehdi, from West Bengal, was working as a manufacturing executive for a well-known conglomerate here. Mehdi confessed that he was handling @ShamiWitness and also used to blog under the same name.

Reddi said through his social media propaganda, Mehdi abetted IS on its agenda to wage war against Asiatic powers. “He was careful in hiding his true identity and was confident that it would never get exposed. His identity was exposed by Channel 4 and inputs were passed on to the Indian agencies,” the police commissioner said. During interrogation, it was found that Mehdi was just a sympathiser and had no weapons in possession. It is said that he was in close contact with the English speaking members of IS. Mehdi had become a source of “incitement and information” for those trying to join IS, Reddi said.

Mehdi was found active only in the virtual world. It was also confirmed that he had not travelled abroad and no person had approached him in connection with IS activities. He only tweeted about the terror organisation and translated Arabic materials into English and posted them. He was using a 60 GB per month internet plan. Mehdi revealed that he had been tweeting and blogging since 2009. He also favoured radical Islam for a long time.

A sympathiser of IS, Mehdi was keen about the developments taking place within the terrorist organisation. He used to follow several breaking news related to IS on websites and uploaded it in the blog and also tweeted about the latest events.

Mehdi keenly followed the activities taking place in the Levant region consisting of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and parts of southern Turkey. His Twitter page had more than 17,000 followers from across the globe, the police added.

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