Despite Ban on IS, won’t be Easy to Track Tech Savvy Supporters

Published: 18th December 2014 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th December 2014 07:11 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Despite the State police being the first to take action against supporters of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) across the country, tracking down and arresting those spreading the message of IS in cyberworld, from the State, will remain a tough task for the State police following the ban imposed on it by the Centre, according to a senior police official.

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“Sifting through lakhs and lakhs of updates and posts and filtering them to identify ISIS supporters will not be a cake walk for the officials from the Cyber Cell”, the official noted.

On Tuesday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed Parliament that the government had imposed a ban on the outfit with the aim of limiting the activities of the organisation in the Country.

The announcement was made in the backdrop of the arrest of Mehdi Masoor Biswas, a 24-year-old software engineer, running a pro-Islamic State Twitter handle @ShamiWitness that had over 17,800 followers, including hundreds of foreign fighters for the group.

The techie’s activities that raised concern in UK was passed on to the India by the British agencies. Meanwhile, a British television channel exposed his identity and aired his views.

Only after these developments were the police officials able to track down the techie and arrest him.

Similarly, it was only after TNIE broke the story on Facebook post showing a picture of 26 youth posing with ISIS T-Shirt in a non-descript town in Ramanathapuram in its August 2, 2014 Edition titled “ISIS Fans’ TN Pic Goes Viral, Triggers Outrage, Concerns”, did the Ramanathapuram police track down the owner and origin of the post. The photo, which was reportedly taken on Ramzan day was posted from Bangkok in July. Abdul Rahman, (26) a businessman, having business links in Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka, and Rilvan, an accomplice of Rahman, arranged the photoshoot and also figured in the photograph.

Furthering the woes is that most of the Indian Agencies do not have direct access to the online platforms including email service providers, social networking sites, and micro-blogging sites. Requests for information from nodal agencies take months to elicit a proper reply.

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