Mehdi Masroor Biswas, a 34-year-old man who gained notoriety as a social media propagandist for the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday, January 18th, 2024. A special court in Bengaluru convicted Biswas on charges of terrorism and waging war against an Asiatic ally.
Biswas was arrested in 2014 after an investigation by the UK’s Channel 4 revealed his involvement with the @shamiwitness Twitter handle. This account was used to promote ISIS and facilitate recruitment of British citizens to join the group in Syria.
The trial, which concluded on January 16th, 2024, saw Biswas convicted on both charges. He has already served over nine years in prison since his arrest and will remain incarcerated for the remainder of his 10-year sentence.
The Indian government has welcomed the conviction, stating that it sends a strong message to those who engage in terrorism and support extremist organizations. However, some human rights groups have raised concerns about the use of special courts and the potential for misuse of counter-terrorism laws.
The case of Mehdi Masroor Biswas serves as a stark reminder of the power of social media in the hands of those with malicious intent. It also underscores the importance of vigilance and swift action in the face of such threats to national and global security.