NEW DELHI: Online jihadi Mehdi Masroor Biswas, 24, arrested on December 13 by Bengaluru police for terror propaganda, had the most number of followers from Western countries and over 60 per cent of his Twitter followers were non-Muslims, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday.
Making a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha, the Home Minister said, “The interrogation of Mehdi Biswas has indicated that his activities were limited to posting and reposting of pro-ISIS material on his Twitter account and social media sites. He has denied having recruited any person for ISIS.”
Singh said Mehdi would visit prominent ISIS-related sites, mostly in Arabic, and then translate the content to English and re-post the material on his Twitter account. During interrogation, Mehdi disclosed that the majority of his Muslim followers were from western countries, particularly the UK.
Mehdi started closely following the developments in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan on the Internet during his college days and has been active in social networking sites since 2009. Senior Home Ministry officials want to probe his role further, claiming that Mehdi may have developed contacts with jihadists as he was considered more of a terror ideologue by the outfit and would-be recruits.
Officials confirmed that during interrogation Mehdi admitted to supporting beheading, using women as sex slaves and the IS caliphate. “He acted as ISIS cheerleader. We suspect that he is hiding a lot of information regarding his interaction with terror elements operating in the cyber-world,” the officials added.
An intelligence officer pointed to a tweet by @shamiwitness that suggests that he was helping new recruits cross over from Turkey into Raqqa, the IS headquarters in Syria. He guided a jihadi stuck in South-Eastern Turkey, telling him that Tala Abayad crossing, located along the Balikh river, was open.