India declared a ban on Islamic State, days after having detained an engineer for running a popular Twitter account extolling the militant group’s military campaign.
India has the world’s third-largest population of Muslims, but they have largely shunned Islamist causes. Until now, India had held off on a ban on Islamic State, because of the group’s lack of activity in the country and worries over the fate of 39 Indian construction workers missing in Iraq this year, who are believed to be held by the group.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament the government aimed to limit the activities of the Middle Eastern group which has carved out swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.
Police picked up Mehdi Masoor Biswas, a 24-year-old food company executive from the southern tech hub of Bengaluru, saying he was running the pro-Islamic State Twitter handle @ShamiWitness that had 17,800 followers, including hundreds of foreign fighters for the group.
Police were poring over 129,000 tweets he had posted over several years to determine if he was simply a cheerleader for the group or an online recruiter.