Bengaluru: Investigators suspect that Mehdi Masroor Biswas was in touch through direct messages (DM) on Twitter with IS fighters on the frontline, and may even know the whereabouts of three men from Thane, Maharashtra, who are allegedly fighting with the IS, said their report to the court on Thursday.
While the investigators have been granted further custody of Mehdi till January 2, they have also been allowed to take him to Mumbai and other places in the country to investigate the leads. This followed a four-page report submitted to the court by the investigating officer (IO), Assistant Commissioner of Police M.K. Thammaiah.
The report claims that sleuths had accessed 14,000-plus direct messages through which Mehdi was in direct touch with suspected IS ideologues and fighters. Police have also submitted a collection of these direct messages to the court as an annexure, which the report terms “incriminating”.
They claimed that most of these messages use many code-like acronyms which only Mehdi could throw light on. The IO report claimed that one of the four youths from Maharashtra was following Mehdi’s Twitter handle @ShamiWitness, and adds that they suspect that Mehdi was in touch with the youths and may even know the whereabouts of the other three.
Of the four youths, Aarif Majid, who was brought back from Iraq and is in National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) custody, is said to have followed @ShamiWitness through another anonymous account @Abu Ali Al Hindi. Three others — Fahad Tanvir Sheikh, Aman Naim Tandel and Shaheen Farooqi Tanki — all from Thane, are suspected to be at the frontline. In fact, the NIA investigating officer probing the Indian IS fighters’ case had also interrogated Mehdi.