Indian executive held for links with IS

The suspect, Mehdi Masroor Biswas, who was interested in developments across the Muslim world since a decade, confesses to operating the controversial twitter account

Bengaluru: An Indian business executive, named as a supporter and publicist of the Islamic State (IS) terror group, was arrested from his rented house early on Saturday, a police official said.

Mehdi Masroor Biswas. Pic/PTI
Mehdi Masroor Biswas. Pic/PTI

“Terror suspect Mehdi Masroor Biswas, 24, was picked from his one-room rented house in the northeast suburbs and sent to custody after preliminary interrogation,” Karnataka Director General of Police (DGP) Lal Rokhuma Pachau explained.

The arrest came two days after a London-based channel reported that Mehdi was part of the IS terror group’s Twitter activities and was regularly tweeting from the city under the handle @ShamiWitness.

“Mehdi was found asleep in his apartment when our probe team knocked on his door in the early hours. He was detained, interrogated and arrested. He confessed to being a radical Islamicist,” Pachau said.
Police registered a case against Mehdi under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Information Technology (IT) Act.

Two mobiles, one laptop, incriminating documents, religious literature, pictures and CDs were seized from his house during the raid. Biswas, who hails from Gopalpur town in West Bengal’s Nadia district, is employed as a business executive in an Indian multinational firm. His parents and two elder sisters live in Gopalpur.

Mehdi was posted in Bengaluru in 2012 and was confirmed in his job in March this year. He earned a salary of R5.3 lakh per annum. “Since a decade, Mehdi was interested in developments across the Muslim world, spanning West Asia and North Africa.

He used an Internet account with 60 GB capacity to download news, views, videos and pictures and browse social media sites such as Facebook, blogs, news portals and used e-mail extensively,” Pachau said.

Mehdi’s Twitter handle was shut a day after the news channel unmasked his identity and the terror activities he was carrying out in the virtual world after office hours. Mehdi confessed to operating @ShamiWitness Twitter account since 2003.

My son’s account hacked, says father
Kolkata: Alleged pro-Islamic State (IS) sympathiser and publicist Mehdi Masroor Biswas, arrested in Bengaluru, has reportedly admitted to the charges but his father on Saturday refused to believe that his son has any links with the terror group and claimed that his account was hacked.

The terror suspect’s father said he had no knowledge about his son’s arrest as his phone was switched off. “But now, we have decided to go there,” he said. A resident at Koikhali in the north eastern fringes of the city, N Masroor Biswas said police or intelligence agencies have not got in touch with him so far.

Biswas, who was employed with the state electricity board, said he doesn’t believe the allegation that his son has any links with IS, one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups. “One reporter asked me about it last night (Friday night).

Then I contacted him and inquired. My son said he did not understand how it has happened. He said his Internet account has been hacked. I don’t believe that my son has any link with IS,” he said. “My son is busy with his office duty from 8.45 in the morning till night,” he added.

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