The 25 year old Mehdi Masroor Biswas has not left Bengaluru. He hails from Kolkata and his
address listed as per government records is West Bengal, Rajarhat
Gopalpur, North 24 Parganas (Read: Shami witness twitter account holder
a resident of Kolkata?)
He works at a major food conglomerate in Bangalore. However there is a little twist to the tale and he has claimed to the agencies that his account may have been hacked and he is not @shamiwitness.
The agencies who managed to question him late into the night did not believe that his account may have been hacked tell Oneindia that out of fear he began taking down all his online accounts. His facebook account under the name Mehdi Masroor Biswas was not a fake one and once pictures began cropping up online, he decided to take down the account.
This is the primary account of Biswas. He claims that this account belonged to him and he had in fact used it. This is the same handle that appears on the blog shamiwitness.blogspot.com and when one clicked on it, it was diverted to the @shamiwitness account. He also claims that the mail id ElSaltador@gmail.com was used to set up his account as well. However someone may have hacked into it and posted messages on my behalf under the handle @shamiwitness.
Blog not taken down
The agencies suspect a pattern where his taking down of the accounts is concerned. Neither Facebook nor Twitter had shut his accounts. It was he who did it, but he left the blog open since he needed a defence to prove that he was @ElSaltador and not @shamitwitness.
His blog which was opened in the month of May 2013 always had the @ElSaltador handle on it under the follow me on Twitter account. It is quite surprising that he did not realize it was being hacked and hence we do not buy his latest version.
Moreover under the about me if one were to click on the view my complete profile the name shamiwitness does show up. However he has not been too convincing when he claims that the account may have been hacked. However Biswas continues to say that he admitted to several things as he was being trolled by journalists.
Why would I run
Biswas who says that he has done no wrong says that although he was afraid at this outrage in the media, he chose not to run. His father a practicing homeopath at Biman Nagar in West Bengal has been in touch with him.
His mother too who was in Bangalore last week spoke with him on phone. Biswas says that running away was not the solution and he needed to work. He also says that he is happy doing his job and had come to Bengaluru in the later part of 2011. The contentious @shamiwitness account which began tweeting in favour of the Al Qaeda in Iraq and later the ISIS has been active since November 2011.
No direct link with ISIS
The agencies say that they have not found any direct link between him and the ISIS. He was well versed with the issues in both Syria and Iraq and moreover this account has been in the open since almost two years. We do not find that he was involved in any sort of recruitment process. He was an avid tweeter and like several others posted material about the ISIS.
To the allegation that he had posted the beheading videos, an agency source said that such videos are posted by several others. After all the ISIS has nearly 21000 handles run by sympathizers.
Moreover the war fought by the ISIS or the Al-Qaeda thrives on propaganda and their heinous acts are publicized in the open. It is wrong to say that we did not know about this account.
It was after all a very popular account, but we saw that this was yet another propaganda handle and there are several such accounts online. He is a fan boy of the ISIS, the agency official also pointed out.
The agencies had also contacted their counterparts in Britain yesterday who also informed them that @shamiwitness was a fan boy of the ISIS and had no role in the recruitment process into the outfit.
No Areef Majeed link
Agency officials and the National Investigating Agency also rubbished reports suggesting that it was Areef Majeed the Kalyan youth who had revealed details to them. The @shamiwitness account was in the know of the agencies and all ISIS sympathizers even before Majeed decided to join the outfit.
Majeed has in fact browsed 100s of websites sympathetic to the ISIS which may have also included this @shamiwitness handle. This does not mean he is linked to @shamiwitness, an NIA official also informed.