In a first, pro-Islamic State Twitter activist to face cyber terrorism charges

In the first instance of anybody being tried for cyber terrorism, Mehdi Masroor Biswas, a prominent supporter of the Islamic State on Twitter, is all set to face trial, reported The Indian Express.

Mehdi Biswas. News18

Mehdi Biswas. News18

A special terrorism court in Bangalore has ruled that the police has sufficient evidence for prosecuting him on charges of cyber terrorism. The case, which is expected to begin next month, is being seen as a test case for the number of online Islamic State sympathisers arrested after him. The case will also be unique as an individual will be tried for terrorism that has taken place online and not in the real world, the report further added.

Biswas will be tried under section 66F of the IT Act, 2000, which carries a maximum of life sentence. He will also stand trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 for advocating terrorism, facilitating recruitment for terrorist activities and for supporting a terrorist organisation, and Indian Penal Code sections on attempt to wage war against India and sedition, The Indian Express reported.

Biswas was known to have handled a pro-Islamic State Twitter handle @shamiwitness and is reported to have sent 1.2 lakh tweets along with 11,000 direct messages. According to the International Business Times, his Twitter account was among the most popular pro-Islamic State handles. However, according to an earlier Indian Express report, he claimed during investigations that he had done nothing wrong and that all his tweets are in public domain. He was arrested by the Bangalore police in December 2014.

Updated Date: May 13, 2016 16:04 PM

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