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The News Minute | December 14, 2014 | 12:30 pm IST Earlier this week, a Channel 4 investigative report revealed the identity of the man running Shami Witness, a pro-Islamic State Twitter account. Named Mehdi, the man worked for an Indian conglomerate.  According to Channel 4's report, Mehdi's tweets defending the Islamic State acted 'as the leading conduit of information between jihadis, supporters, and recruits', states the report. With over 17,000 followers, 'Two thirds of all foreign fighters on Twitter followed him.' Mehdi used to regularly speak to British Jihadis, but he himself could not join the Islamic State as his family was dependent on him. "If I had a chance to leave everything and join them I might have.. my family needs me here", Mehdi told Channel 4. The man who regularly shared 'jokes, funny images and talks about superhero movies, posting pictures of pizza dinners with friends, and Hawaiian parties at work' on his Facebook Page, '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.', adds the report. The report was swiftly picked up by the national and international media, and the police arrested Mehdi Masroor Biswas from his Bengaluru home on Saturday.  Since then, supporters of Mehdi have taken to Twitter demanding his release, using the hashtag #FreeShamiWitness. Amidst those defending Shami Witness and its ideologies, some argued that it was unjust to detain a person for voicing their opinions. Others thought that strict action was being taken against Mehdi simply because he is Muslim. Read: #ShammiWitness- Meet Mehdi Masroor Biswas the coward  Simultaneously, others also joined the discussion stating that they could not support a person who approved the Islamic State's beheadings. #FreeShamiWitness pic.twitter.com/5Puin46Exl — لا إله الا الله (@1ALQ3QA3) December 14, 2014 @UmShaheen8. You can arrest us,but not our souls and our iman.#FreeShamiWitness — کفر Ú©Ø´ (@kufferkush) December 14, 2014 We got your back Shami!#FreeShamiWitness#FreeShamiWitness#FreeShamiWitness#FreeShamiWitness#FreeShamiWitness#FreeShamiWitness" — Colonel Shami (@ansaralummah8) December 14, 2014 since Shami Witness is not here, twitter is boring, so we'll keep tweeting on this until you free him #FreeShamiWitness — M-Shami-K (@y_dohak) December 14, 2014 #FreeShamiWitness your tweets were special al the time.#true — أبو قتادة #باقية (@8qatada) December 14, 2014 World largest democracy detained a youth for tweeting news which mainstream media hide from us. #FreeShamiWitness — d3 (@schaba) December 14, 2014 You murder and torture us and never bring the perpetrators to book!We tweet & are guilty of a crime?How does that work ? #FreeShamiWitness — IslamIsTruth (@HadithTruths2) December 14, 2014 Though Mehdi's Twitter account has been deactivated following Channel 4's report, several other Shami Witness Twitter handles have cropped up on the micro-blogging site.  ( Screen grab of an account using the name Shami Witness ) Read: ShamiWitness claimed to be a Libyan based in UK, was an IS fanboy than credible source Tweet

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