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@ShamiWitness was a "pro-ISIS" Twitter account operated by Mehdi Masroor Biswas from Bangalore, India. The account gathered a large following among pro-NATO tweeps. On December 12, 2014 Biswas was identified and arrested on terrorism charges.
- Shami Witness arrest rattles ISIS’ cages on Twitter - Joyce Karam, Al Arabiya, 14 December 2014
- Reports of further arrests in Shami Witness case - Channel 4 News, December 18, 2014
- Police say they have enough evidence to charge Mehdi Masroor over IS tweets - Daily Mail, January 29, 2015
- Mehdi had used his Twitter handle @shamiwitness to praise the IS work in the West Asia region and also to allegedly indoctrinate youth into the militant organisation’s ideology.
- The police have completed the analysis of his 1,24,000 tweets. Of these, 15,000 tweets were directly in connection with the IS – defending their actions, praising their work (including shocking beheadings), inspiring youth to spread the IS ideology and join the outfit war in the West Asia region as jehadists voluntarily.
- ISIS propagandist ShamiWitness: Man charged in India - Channel 4 News, June 1, 2014
- The man alleged to have operated the single most influential pro-ISIS Twitter account, identified following a Channel 4 News investigation last year, has today been charged by police in India.
- Mehdi Biswas is alleged by India's police to have operated the @ShamiWitness Twitter account, which was followed by two-thirds of all the foreign jihadis on Twitter according to research by ICSR at King's College London.
- Mehdi Masroor Biswas represented Islamic State, says Bengaluru police - Aravind Gowda, India Today, June 4, 2015
- The Bengaluru police have concluded that Mehdi reflected the ideology of IS and had motivated youths from foreign nations to join terror group through his tweets.
- Though not a formal member of the IS, because Biswas never had any face-to-face meeting with any of the representatives of the terror organisation, his actions were no less than that of an active member. This prompted the police to identify him as a "representative" of the IS, acting on their behalf, recruiting foreign nationals, especially from Europe and the United Kingdom for jihadi activities in Syria and Iraq.
- Terror handle @ShamiWitness to be active on Twitter - India Today, June 4, 2015
- Though the Twitter handle was shut down after Biswas was arrested, the police reopened the same to access the data and other crucial evidence.
- The police, in the charge sheet, said Biswas had effectively used his Twitter handle to carry out the IS campaign. "Accused Biswas was well aware of the fact that IS is known for its well-funded web and social media propaganda ... regularly taking advantage of the social media, particularly Twitter, distributed his messages by organising hashtag campaigns, encouraging tweets on popular hashtags (IS related), and utilising software applications that enable IS propaganda," sections of the charge sheet said.
- ShamiWitness: How Bellingcat and Neocons Collaborated With the Most Influential ISIS Propagandist on Twitter - Mark Ames, Gray Zone Project, October 29, 2018 (mirror)
- But I want to talk about the western “experts” in Washington and London who cozied up to @ShamiWitness — especially since all of them are still around, many of them bigger and more influential in our political discourse than ever. They’re the ones who built up @ShamiWitness’s social media capital, making his account so popular, and so effective, in recruiting ISIS murderers. Some of the best known Syria regime-change hustlers and “experts”—Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat and the Saudi-funded Atlantic Council; Charles Lister of the Saudi-funded Middle East Institute, former CNN “Syria expert” and Atlantic Council fellow Michael Weiss, all major figures promoting today’s RussiaGate hysteria—together helped transform the @ShamiWitness account from a cretinous troll into a credible “ISIS expert”. They validated and lent credibility to ShamiWitness as someone with deep, local insider knowledge, boosting ShamiWitness’s social capital their countless retweets, #FF’s, #Pt’s, and their numerous public interactions.