India officially banned the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) after a top executive was arrested for spreading propaganda on behalf of the terrorist group. Medhi Masroor Biswas’s Twitter account @ShamiWitness was one of the most influential accounts affiliated with the jihadist group.
“We had taken cognizance of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria activities in other countries,” said Home Minister Rajnath Singh. “As a first step we have banned this outfit in India.”
India did not take action against the Islamic State since there was no activity by the group in the country. Authorities know of only four Indians who joined the Islamic State. Police arrested one when he returned to India. The Daily Star also said officials thought “it would be harder to track sympathizers if the group was banned” and “endanger the lives of 39 men believed to be held by the group since June.”
“I would like to make it clear that ISIS’s reach is limited to only a handful of young Indian Muslims,” he said. “Unlike other countries like France, Germany, UK and the U.S., where families may be backing young Muslims to fight for ISIS, Indian Muslims, especially parents, have discouraged their young from supporting ISIS activities.”
The next step for authorities is to review tweets from @ShamiWitness to determine his full involvement with the Islamic State. His tweets revealed inside information that led many people and reporters to believe he was actually on the ground or at least in the Middle East.
“It is true the number of Indians in the group or involved in its activities is only a handful,” said Singh. “But I want to make clear we are taking this seriously.”