ISIS' Twitter 'jihadi' may not be in Bengaluru: Intel agencies

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New Delhi, Dec 12: The suspect behind a pro-ISIS Twitter account followed by foreign jihadis may not be based in Bangaluru as claimed by a British media report and he could be using a pseudonym -- Mehdi Mehboob Biswas, according to preliminary assessment by central intelligence agencies.

The individual may not be based in the IT city as claimed by the Channel 4 News but it has been confirmed that the now defunct twitter handle @ShamiWitness had played significant roles in the Islamic State's propaganda war. Investigators were trying to get details of twitter handle and to authenticate whether the individual, identified as Mehdi Mehboob Biswas, was using his original name or it's just a pseudonym.

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"Probability of it being a pseudonym is very high," official sources said. Since the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing the case of Arif Majeed, the youth from Mumbai suburb Kalyan, who had returned from Islamic State, it will soon start probe into all claims of the British media report.

Arif was following this particular twitter handle and reportedly confessed before interrogators that he was influenced by it, the sources said. They said security agencies were aware of the twitter handle and have come to know that the account had 17,700 followers but tweets reposted thousands of times and have been seen by millions.

Crime branch of Bangaluru police today said they have launched a probe into the veracity of the report. In its report, the British news broadcaster 'Channel 4' said that the man operating the account is an executive in the city working for an Indian conglomerate.

"He has until now been able to remain anonymous, avoiding questions about his motives and his central role in the Islamic State's propaganda war, but a Channel 4 News investigation can today reveal that the man operating the account is called Mehdi and he is an executive in Bangalore working for an Indian conglomerate," the report claimed.

PTI

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