New Delhi: More than 60 per cent followers of Bengaluru executive Mehdi Masroor Biswas, the man accused of being behind the pro-ISIS Twitter handle @ShamiWitness, were non-Muslims and a majority of his Muslim followers were from western countries, particularly the UK, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today.
"During interrogation, Mehdi disclosed that more than 60 per cent of his twitter account followers were non-Muslims from the western countries and a majority of his Muslim followers were from the western countries, particularly the UK.
"Mehdi started closely following the developments in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan through internet during his college days and has been active in the social networking sites since 2009. Over a period of time, Mehdi started interacting with people in social media sites. He has denied having recruited any person for ISIS," Mr Singh said, making a suo motu statement in Lok Sabha.
The Home Minister said that Mehdi had come to prominence in the electronic media in the UK on his role in circulating ISIS material through the account.
Mr Singh said central agencies worked in close collaboration with the Karnataka police to gather information leading to his arrest.
Mehdi used to visit prominent ISIS related websites, mostly in Arabic language and then translate the contents into English and repost the material on his Twitter account.
He also said that Mehdi belongs to a middle class family from Kolkata and has done his electrical engineering from Gurunanak Dev Institute of Technology in 2012 and joined the ITC, Bangaluru, following a campus recruitment.
Britain's Channel 4 News had first aired the report regarding Mehdi's link with the Twitter account.
Mehdi was arrested on December 13 and has been accused of waging war against the nation, waging war against a friendly nation and under sections of the IT Act.