After three of its major Twitter contributors were tracked down, the Islamic State (ISIS) has released a plea asking its supporters not to stop their campaign of spreading the message of jihad online.
In a lengthy appeal shared widely among the ISIS supporters, the group stated -- "The following has been written in relation to Shami, Ghazi and Marwan -- three of the most influential tweeps who have deactivated [their accounts] and whose absence has caused many others to abandon their posts in the darul cyberspace."
Earlier on Friday, ISIS suffered a major setback after a Channel 4 report revealed the partial identity of one of the men who ran one of the most-influential ISIS Twitter account. @ShamiWitness, the report found, was run by a Bangalore-based executive who works in food company.
The report revealed that the man, who has been identified as Mehdi Masroor Biswas, holds a sophisticated white collar job, but at the same time is also an active ISIS supporter in touch with several ISIS jihadis, including new recruits from Britian.
Soon after the revelation, Mehdi Masroor Biswas deleted the Twitter account @Shamiwitness. Reports indicate that Mehdi is now on the run, while the local police including the National Investigation Agency (NIA), are trying to track down the ISIS Twitter campaigner.
The revelation has shocked many Twitter jihadis and in order to dispel their fears, the group has been making appeals encouraging them to continue their work online.
At one point in the appeal, the ISIS letter states: "Imagine if every mujahid fled the battlefield after one was martyred. Who would continue the battle and ultimately the jihad?"
It then goes on to state: "...the loss of Shami, Marwan and Ghazi are a blow to the 'tweeps' of Dawlatul Islam- however, if you created that activist account with the intention of 'Twitter Jihad' then the loss of three soldiers should not deter you in your quest of spreading haqq (truth).
The letter addressing all the "Twitter Jihadis" as 'The Resistance in the realm of cyberspace' to fight the Kuffar (the West) that wants 'absolute domination- of land, sea, air and cyberspace'.
The group then tells its supporters that if for security reasons one has to deactivate their account, then they must, but still they must come back later.
"Being a 'tweep' isn't something small and insignificant. I swear by Allah, your absence will be felt. We live in our comfort in 1st world countries -- reluctant/unable to perform hijra and fight for the sake of Allah to defend the ummah and ensure that Absolute Justice (shariah) dominates. The least we can do is spread the ideology that mujahideen die to defend," the appeal states.
The ISIS appeal concludes with the group beseeching its supporters: "Do not abandon your posts... unless you're migrating from cyberspace to real life dawla or plan on doing so."