Google+

Thursday, 18 December 2014

I’m a soldier, I have no regrets, says ISIS Twitter handler Mehdi Masroor Biswas

BENGALURU: "I'm a soldier and messenger. I don't regret what I've done," Mehdi Masroor Biswas, 24, told an advocate as a posse of policemen escorted him out of court hall 49, Civil Court Complex, Bengaluru, on Thursday.

Mehdi, arrested for operating a pro-ISIS Twitter handle, was remanded to 15 days in police custody by special judge Somaraju. One of the advocates asked Mehdi outside the courtroom, "Why did you do this, man?" Mehdi replied he had no regrets.

His parents were present in the courtroom. West Bengal-born Mehdi was as a management executive in an MNC, and allegedly worked as an ISIS propaganda activist, tweeting and retweeting thousands of messages. Arrested in the early hours of Saturday, Mehdi was produced before court on Thursday when his five-day police custody ended.

The court complex was a fortress in the afternoon. Ten police inspectors in plainclothes, led by ACP Thammaiah, Central Crime Branch, arrived in five vehicles with Mehdi around 4.05pm. As Mehdi walked in, the court hall was packed with advocates. Curious lawyers and other clients peered through every available inch of the windows.




Thammaiah sought Mehdi's custody for 25 more days as police officers had to crosscheck thousands of tweets, download them and take him to other states or countries, if needed. Disallowing police to take him outside the country, the judge granted 15-day police custody with a caveat that Mehdi be produced in the same court at 3pm on January 2.



Leaning towards Mehdi, judge Somaraju said: "Police say they need more information from you and have sought 25 days of custody. I'm handing you to police custody for 15 days, and they will bring you to this hall on January 2 afternoon." Mehdi, who was 15 feet away, nodded with a smile. "Only in case of emergency and based on requirement, will police custody be extended further," the judge added.


The proceedings lasted 55 minutes. The CCB team submitted 1,000-plus pages of documents, saying they contained vital findings of the investigation. "We need to take Mehdi to other states — particularly, Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra. We've come across links between Mehdi and some persons staying in these states," CCB sources claimed.