Pro-ISIS Mehdi Masroor Biswas' police remand extended till January 2, 2015

Police remand of ISIS sympathiser Mehdi Masroor Biswas, who was arrested for operating the Twitter account of the militant group, has been extended till January 2, 2015, reports stated on Thursday.

New Delhi: Police remand of ISIS sympathiser Mehdi Masroor Biswas, who was arrested for operating the Twitter account of the militant group, has been extended till January 2, 2015, reports stated on Thursday.

Masroor was arrested from his apartment in Bengaluru on December 13, 2014. After his arrest he confessed he was handling the pro-jihad Twitter account "@ShamiWitness" and he was particularly close to English-speaking ISIS terrorists.

Karnataka DGP L Pachau told reporters that Masroor is an engineer working as "manufacturing executive" with a Bengaluru-based multinational company for an annual package of Rs 5.3 lakh, he became "a source of incitement and information" for the new ISIS recruits.

Biswas, hailing from West Bengal, had admitted to operating "@ShamiWitness" twitter account for the last many years, he said, announcing the breakthrough along with Bengaluru Police Commissioner M N Reddi.

Cases had been registered against Mehdi under various provisions of IPC, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and IT Act, Reddi said.

Pachau said Mehdi had more than 17,000 followers on Twitter and used to "ferociously" tweet by aggregating information and closely watching developments of the region.

The Bengaluru Police had launched a manhunt for Mehdi after Britain's Channel 4 News had aired the report regarding the country's IT capital's link with the Twitter account that is followed by foreign jihadis.

Channel 4 News had said its investigation had revealed that the man operating the account is called Mehdi and he is an executive in Bangalore working for an Indian conglomerate. Mehdi was interested in the Levantine region, also known as Eastern Mediterranean, consisting of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and part of Southern Turkey from 2003 onwards, Pachau said.

He used to work in the office during daytime and became active on the Internet at nights, he said, adding, he had bought 60 GB Internet connection on monthly basis to read all breaking news on websites relating to ISIS/ISL.

Pachau said through his social media propaganda, Mehdi abetted ISIL in its agenda to wage war against Asiatic powers.

Mehdi was careful in hiding his true identity and was confident that it would never get revealed, the state police chief said. "His identity was exposed by Channel 4 and inputs were passed on to the Indian agencies."

His parents live in West Bengal and he has two elder sisters, Pachau said. His father is a retired employee of the West Bengal State Electricity Board.

(With PTI inputs)

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