The man behind the most influential ISIS twitter account @ShamiWitness is finally unmasked. To our surprise, the English Speaking Twitter cheerleader is neither a Syrian nor from Iraq, but from our own land, India.
Who is Behind Shami Witness?
An executive working in Bangalore, his real name is Mehdi Masroor Biswas. Though he works and stays in Bangalore, 25 year old Mehdi hails from Kolkata. As per Government records, his address is somewhere in Rajarhat Gopalpur, West Bengal.
Yes, Mehdi, an executive working in an Indian conglomerate spent his day acting as the leading channel @ShamiWitness between jihadis, its supporters, as well as the recruits of IS.
The Working of @ShamiWitness
Being the most influential IS Twitter account, he had 17,700 followers. In fact, as good as two-thirds of all jihadis across the globe on Twitter followed Shami Witness. Whenever a jihadi’s account was suspended, Mehdi as @ShamiWitness then promoted new account and even persuaded his followers to follow it.
As Shami Witness, Mehdi often spoke to jihadis who would leave to join the IS. In case, these jihadis died on their so-called mission, he would address them as ‘martyrs’ and even praise them for their sacrifice. Here is the sample of some of his tweets.
Some of his most retweeted Tweets
Also, Mehdi proudly retweeted at least 5 times that IS beheaded US Aid Worker, Peter Kassig
Not just Twitter Account, Mehdi also operated a Blog to promote his Jihadi Propaganda.
So, was he willing to join IS?
Well, he said he would, but since he is the only bread-winner of his family and they need him here, he didn’t join ISIS.
No wonder IS has used social media on a large-scale to employ foreign jihads and to disseminate videos where militants are seen beheading Western aid workers and journos.
Mehdi Masroor Biswas also spoke to Channel 4 when he was tracked and unmasked by them. He, however requested them not to reveal his identity. Here is a Chanel 4 Video where you can hear him speak about his thoughts and motives.
To all our Surprise he maintained a normal, and completely different life on Facebook!
Yes, Mehdi Masroor talked normally on his Facebook without spreading any IS Propaganda. He, like any other individual updated his Facebook account with Jokes, Movies, Hawaiian Parties at work and even time spent with friends.
He also had a status about Uber Rape where he talked normally about Women and their safety. Nobody would have ever imagined this normal guy to be a person behind Shami Witness.
Though, Mehdi closed his account soon after he was contacted by Channel 4, the news comes as a setback to Indian Security Authorities who have been constantly worried about IS growing influence in India through Social media. Earlier, Areef Majeed was detained in India as soon as he returned from Iraq.
ISIS ideology, no doubt is spreading like wildfire from London to Bangalore – Masroor Mehdi said in his telephonic conversation that,
“Beheadings are discussed in Quran and Hadith itself. I don’t think any honest Muslim will ever tell you he’s against beheading per se.”
Makes one wonder whether ISIS can really recruit people from foreign countries to carry out their attacks…
Check out the Press Note here
By: Deepti Verma