Thursday, December 11, 2014

ID Of Man Behind Top ISIS Twitter Account #ShamiWitness Outed- UPDATE

UPDATE: #ShamiWitness has been fully outed by Twitter sleuths.  He's allegedly Mehdi Masroor Biswas, and some claim he might actually be a student not an executive.  But he's closed his Linked-In and Facebook accounts, in addition to his Twitter account. Many other pro-ISIS jihadis are running scared and shutting down their accounts as well.  I also erroneously mentioned he was married with kids.  The familial obligations were actually his parents.  I think.

There are a slew of pro-Islamic State Twitter accounts with thousands of followers. Many are supporters, some are actually jihadis fighting in Syria and Iraq. Those accounts that happen to get suspended usually resurface very quickly.  One popular account with foreign jihadis- Shami Witness- had 17,700 followers and was considered to be one of most influential pro-ISIS accounts on Twitter. But Shami Witness is no more. A Channel 4 News investigation made sure of that. They discovered who was posting anonymously as Shami Witness and it turns out he was an executive with a business conglomerate based in Bangalore, India. He is Indian. His name is Mehdi. Married with kids. Obviously educated.

He spent his mornings, afternoons and evenings sending thousands of tweets of propaganda about the Islamic State militant group, acting as the leading conduit of information between jihadis, supporters, and recruits.[snip]Two thirds of all foreign fighters on Twitter followed him. When a fighter's Twitter account is suspended, he often promoted the new one and urged people to follow it.
He spoke to British jihadis regularly, before they leave to join the Islamic State, after they arrived, and if they died he praised them as martyrs.
Channel 4 has kindly decided not to identify him. Lucky Mehdi. He told them his life would be in danger. If it weren't for familial responsibilities he would have joined ISIS.

He also has a Facebook page, with a different persona.

On his Facebook pages he regularly shares jokes, funny images and talks about superhero movies, posting pictures of pizza dinners with friends, and Hawaiian parties at work.
He actually removed his own Twitter account after he was outed, but when it was in full swing he joined many other pro-ISIS Twitterers in posting videos of the beheadings of innocent foreigners:

Using the @ShamiWitness account he five times tweeted the video of the execution of US aid worker Peter Kassig, and dozens of Syrian soldiers within minutes of it being uploaded to the internet.

"May allah guide, protect, strengthen and expand the Islamic State ... Islamic State brought peace, autonomy, zero corruption, low crime-rate", he wrote on Twitter in November.
And he said to British fighter Mehdi Hassan "May Allah give you brothers decisive victory there". Hassan later died fighting in Kobane.
ShamiWitness seemed to express glee at the deaths and rapes of Kurdish fighters on Twitter, but later said that this comment was taken out of context.

He had written and later deleted the tweet where he said: "@ArjDnn I should thank PKK for recruiting female fighters, specially the ones caught alive by rebels. lol".
And yet on Facebook, he was a vocal advocate against rape.

I'm sure Mehdi/Shami Witness, like all the others, will reincarnate under a different Twitter account in no time. Unless the Indian government was informed and starts keeping tabs on him.

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