Pro-IS Twitter Account, Probe Intensified

Published: 15th December 2014 09:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th December 2014 09:29 PM   |  A+A-


BENGALURU: Intensifying its probe, Police are looking into all links of alleged handler of Pro-Islamic State Twitter account Mehdi Masroor Biswas, even as they downplayed a threat on the micro blogging site that the city will be the next target for Sydney like hostage crisis.     

>> Read: Pro-IS Tweeter's 60 Per Cent Followers Non-Muslims

As they widened the probe examining "all angles", police also asked Twitter to provide more details regarding ShamiWitness account, which are "crucial" to the probe.     

The city police said there is absolutely no threat perception to the country's IT capital and appealed to public not to pay heed to such things.     

"Appeal: public not to pay heed to any of the so called threatening tweets reg(arding) safety of Bengaluru city," City Police Commissioner M N Reddi tweeted.     

"There is absolutely no threat perception. However we will thoroughly verify the source of these claims. All precautions are taken," he wrote in another tweet.     

The appeal came in the wake of a tweet from "Islamic State Media" twitter handle, which the police suspect to be a parody account, threatening that Bengaluru will be the target for next Sydney like hostage crisis.     

An armed man today took undisclosed number of people hostages at a popular cafe in Sydney and displayed an Islamic flag with Arabic script in the window, sparking a security alert in Australia.  

Speaking to reporters here, Reddi said "Twitter is a different kind of platform; we can't know about who is sending them (tweet). We can't get to know about who has created the handle. We can't get to know from where the person is tweeting; if someone sends message like this, it is not necessary that it is true."      

However, he said "....on receiving any such threat there is a procedure in place; we will investigate it and accordingly take action."      

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Stating that police will find out the details of the tweet, he said "....we maintain the alert level on the basis of various types of inputs we receive, but I don't feel that alert level in the city has to be heightened because of this tweet."

Meanwhile, DCP Crime (Bengaluru) Abhishek Goyal said, "I have sought more details regarding ShamiWitness which are crucial to investigation."      

Reddi said, "We have given notice to Twitter India under Section 91 of CrPC (Summons to produce document or other thing) as we had not got the information that we had sought; ...but now we have started getting response from them."      

To a question on investigations about the links that Biswas might have had, he said "...all angles are being examined very carefully, who was he in touch with both in India and abroad, what kind of contact was established, was it one way contact or two way contact, what are the things that were discussed.."      "...we will go deep into it and investigate what was the level of contact maintained and on the basis of it we will take action," the city police chief said.      

Twenty four-year-old Biswas, who was arrested here on Saturday, is under police custody for five days.     

He was arrested under Sec 125 of IPC (waging war against the Government of any Asiatic power in alliance or at peace with the Government of India or attempts to wage such war or abetting waging of such war), Sec 18 and 39 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Sec 66 of Information Technology Act.      

Bengaluru police had launched a manhunt for Biswas after Britain's Channel 4 News had aired the report on the presence of ISIS Twitter Ideologue @ShamiWitness here and arrested him from a rented one-room apartment on Saturday.


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