A Muslim couple with links to the terrorist organization Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISKP) was nabbed by Delhi Police from south Delhi’s Jamia Nagar on Sunday. The couple is believed to have been in touch with senior ISKP members in Afghanistan and were trying to exploit the ongoing riots to incite Muslims to carry out terror strikes within the country.
The couple, Jehanjeb Sami and Hinda Bashir Beg, a couple from Srinagar, were arrested yesterday by the Delhi police for alleged links to ISIS. According to intelligence officials, Jahanzaib Sami was also in touch with Huzaifa al-Bakistani, the Pakistani commander of the Islamic State’s Khorasan wing who played a key role in efforts to radicalise Kashmiri youngsters to join the terror group.
Jahanzaib Sami’s wife Hina Bashir Beigh was also active on pro-IS handles on social media and facilitated in spotting what the group considered ‘talent’ for its terror activities, a senior Police officer said.
Now it has been revealed that the couple operated an OSINT account on Twitter. OSINT is short for Open Source Intelligence, that is, data collected from publicly available sources to be used in an intelligence context. The couple operated an account on the social media platform with the username @kashmirosint. The handle has since then been deleted.
The bio of the account said, “OSINT, news and stories from Kashmir, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.” The location was set to Discord, presumably referring to the messaging app. According to an individual who used to follow him on Twitter long ago, KashmirOsint used to post pictures of the border, cross border shelling, images from Pakistan and sometimes, they posted raw pictures. The Indian Government had withheld their account in India.
On Twitter, we discovered that the handle KashmirOsint had conversations with NDTV journalist Nidhi Razdan. We can only see Nidhi’s side of the conversation, therefore, we have no way of knowing what was actually being discussed.
Numerous emojis were also exchanged between Nidhi and KashmirOsint, the handle which is now known to have been operated by terrorists. However, due to the fact that the twitter handle no longer exists, we have no idea of knowing the context of these conversations.
The handle was apparently very popular within the research community and media. There are numerous OSINT accounts on Twitter and the agenda of these accounts is most often not known. Most of them operate from relative obscurity and they are mostly anonymous accounts. Given the nature of these accounts, it is easy to spread disinformation for sinister objectives in the name of OSINT as well.