In a major breakthrough, the alleged handler of the most influential pro-Islamic State (IS) Twitter account was arrested from an apartment here in the early hours today. Mehdi Masroor Biswas has "confessed" he was handling the pro-jihad tweeter "@ShamiWitness" and he was particularly close to English-speaking ISIS terrorists, Karnataka DGP L Pachau told reporters here.
An engineer working as "manufacturing executive" with a Bengaluru-based multinational company for an annual package of Rs 5.3 lakh, he became "a source of incitement and information" for the new ISIS recruits, Pachau said.
Biswas, hailing from West Bengal, had admitted to operating "@ShamiWitness" twitter account for the last many years, he said, announcing the breakthrough along with Bengaluru Police Commissioner M N Reddi.
Cases had been registered against Mehdi under various provisions of IPC, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and IT Act, Reddi said. Pachau said Mehdi had more than 17,000 followers on Twitter and used to "ferociously" tweet by aggregating information and closely watching developments of the region.
The Bengaluru Police had launched a manhunt for Mehdi after Britain's Channel 4 News had aired the report regarding the country's IT capital's link with the Twitter account that is followed by foreign jihadis.
Channel 4 News had said its investigation had revealed that the man operating the account is called Mehdi and he is an executive in Bangalore working for an Indian conglomerate.