Mehdi proud of Twitter success

Propagandist for terror group held in Bengaluru

Mehdi Masroor Biswas, one of the most popular Islamic State (IS) propagandists among the British, never intended to join IS in its fight, sources said after the 24-year-old electrical engineer was arrested in Bengaluru.

Sources said Mehdi was trapped by a British channel representative who spoke to him in the guise of a British fighter for IS.

A senior police officer said Mehdi always felt proud about the success of his Twitter account. Before the British channel spoke to him, a business website had interviewed him in January this year about the massive following of his Twitter handle@shamiwitness.

Even in that interview, which did not reveal his identity, Mehdi maintained that he was a fan of IS activities.

“The channel representative had introduced himself as a British fighter influenced by his tweets. Mehdi felt pepped up and continued to chat. That is how he went on to say that he would have joined IS, but for his family.

However, he realised he had been trapped when news about his identity appeared all over. That is when he got scared and answered the call from the British channel again on Friday to say he was ready to surrender. He confessed that he had no intention to join IS,” a source said.

When the City police knocked on his door, Mehdi reportedly threw his hands up and said he was unarmed. He reiterated that he did nothing wrong.

He also told them that he had never criticised the country or breached the rule of the land. However, his denial did not last long since the police were ready with all his tweets and writeups on his blogs.

Police found that Mehdi had shut down his Facebook and Twitter accounts after his cover was blown.

However, he left his blog up and running without any content, thinking that he could use this as a defence saying he only handled accounts created using @ElSaltador and had no connection with @shamitwitness. Moreover, his blog had @ElSaltador Twitter handle with a message “follow me on Twitter account.”

“He says since the age of 18 he was attracted towards radical ideologies. However, it seems the trouble in Syria was the turning point. The fight against the Assad regime turned his attention towards the Islamic State movement, especially concerning the Sunni (Muslim) community. Though the interrogation still needs to be continued, his knowledge on IS movement is solely based on material he got from the Internet,” the source added.

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