India detains suspect manages twitter account of IS
New Delhi ( Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO ) – A man who admitted to running a pro-Islamic State Twitter account has been arrested in southern India, police said Saturday.
However, authorities say Mehdi Masroor Biswas, 24, doesn’t appear to have a direct link to the Islamic State or any other extremist group. The Twitter account @shamiwitness was recently shut down.
“He appears to have been only majorly active in the virtual world,” Bangalore’s top police official, M.N. Reddy, told reporters.Biswas “never recruited anyone or facilitated any such activity in India.” He’d also never traveled outside of India, Reddy added.
Biswas is charged with waging a war or abetting the waging of war against powers friendly to India, Reddy said, according to CNN. He could face up to 10 years in prison and is also charged under prevention of unlawful activities and anti-cyber-crime laws, CNN reported.
Britain’s Channel 4, which uncovered Biswas’ identity, said his Twitter account acted as “the leading conduit of information between jihadis, supporters, and recruits.”
The news organization said his account had 17,700 followers and his tweets were seen 2 million times per month before being shut down.
Before his arrest, Biswas told Channel 4 that he had done nothing wrong.
“I haven’t harmed anybody, I haven’t broken any laws of the country,” he said. “I haven’t raised any war or any violence against the public of India.”
The Islamic State, which has seized large parts of Iraq and Syria, embraces social media platforms such as Twitter and YouTube.
Father : My son does not have any relationship with Islamic State
“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.
Shocked at their son’s arrest, Mehdi Biswas’ parents are trying to get to Bengaluru to plead their son’s innocence.
“My son is innocent. He does not know what all these things mean,” said Mamtaz Begum, Mehdi’s mother. She said her son was not involved in “us tarah ka kaam (that kind of work).” She had lived with him in Bengaluru and had returned to Kolkata only a few days ago. Ms. Mamtaz said Mehdi had only three close friends in Bengaluru and would mingle only with them. Recollecting her conversation with him on Friday, she said: “He was very worried and said his Internet accounts had been hacked. He broke down and asked: ‘What is happening, ma?’”
In their sparsely furnished house in Kailkhali, a suburb of Kolkata, Mekail Biswas, a former engineer and homeopath, told The Hindu: “I first heard of IS last evening when journalists came enquiring about my son’s so-called links with this organisation.”For more news and stories, join us on Facebook,Twitter , or contact us through our Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com