Is #ShamiWitness incident a deliberate attempt to put India on ISIS priority map?

While the liberal crowd in India is busy bailing out Mehdi Masroor Biswas, the Bangalore based youth who operated @ShamiWitness, one of the most influential Twitter account pushing ISIS propaganda, one needs to analyze if this incident could be part of a bigger conspiracy.

Let’s not forget that this has happened a few days after another Indian Muslim youth from Kalyan in Maharashtra, who joined ISIS to fight “infidel forces”, was brought back to India and arrested.

ISIS in Kashmir
ISIS supporters in Kashmir

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In both cases, the disclosure by the youths that they were working for ISIS has been voluntary.

The Kalyan based youth returned of his own, apparently being unhappy at not being given chance to fight in the battlefield, and the Bangalore based youth admitted to running the Twitter account while talking to a British news channel.

Please note that Mehdi could have simply refused to talk to the British channel, and then taken further precautions to go fully anonymous. But he decided to disclose his virtual identity and activities, fully knowing that this will create a furore in India and could land him in serious trouble.

He also knew that the liberal crowd in India will bail him out, so there was hope that disclosure may not hurt him much, but how does it exactly benefit him?

After all, there is no fun being arrested and spending some weeks in jail, even if you are confident that a liberal India media and Human Rights activist will make sure you are not punished.

We believe that this could be a well thought of a plan to put India on the priority map of ISIS.

ISIS is growing in strength and there is a real possibility that they will be recognized as a legitimate government in areas they control. Just like the US has finally agreed to talk to Taliban in Afghanistan, US could soon offer this comprise formula to ISIS – you control the territory but don’t advance in more areas.

The areas controlled by ISIS are oil rich, and they could fund activities outside their areas once they settle into governance.

It’s obvious that ISIS would try to fund supportive movements in and around the Middle East. India is too far away from them.

However, Kashmiri separatists and Pakistani intelligence agencies have been trying to involve ISIS into Kashmir.

We have already seen some youths waving ISIS flags in Kashmir, but this has not been enough. ISIS doesn’t see India as a natural enemy yet. For them, Iran is a bigger and close-to-home enemy. Islamists in India and Pakistan want to change that.

With @ShamiWitness Twitter account, followed by many ISIS fighters and supporters, disclosed as being operated by an Indian Muslim, the ISIS support system is expected to take a closer look at India, and Kashmir could come on their priority map – a benefit Mehdi Masroor Biswas, or his bosses, could be looking at.

Al Qaida has already announced an Indian arm, and now with ISIS focusing on India, it could be music to Pakistani and Kashmiri separatist ears.

Is that the plan?


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