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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

ISIS WhatsApp group: Authorities about to follow wrong lead?

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It is revealed that the alleged ISIS WhatsApp group named ‘Interschool’ is an internet hoax which is being circulated since 2017.

Following are the excerpts of an article published on Deccan Chronicles in 17 August 2017.

“WhatsApp users are in panic and are forwarding the warning message to their relatives and friends. The message reads, “There is a WhatsApp group called ‘Interschools’. If invited, don’t join the group. It belongs to Daesh (ISIS). If you join the group you will not be able to exit from it. Be vigilant, please inform others. Send this to your relatives and children on WhatsApp so that they will also be careful. Forward it as received.”

But cyber experts said the message is a hoax and the group, Interschool, was not created by ISIS as claimed. “The message, first of all, does not make any sense. Why would a dreaded militant group want some random people as its WhatsApp group members? How would this benefit them? This is a fake message intended to create panic among people,” said a police officer from the Cyber Crime division, attached to the Bengaluru City Police.”

Though the origin of the message is not known, it is said that it started circulating in June 2017. 

It is similar to a message that did the rounds previously. It read: There is a WhatsApp group called ‘Firdaus we ascend’.

“If invited, don’t join the group, it belongs to Daesh. If you join the group you will not be able to exit from it. Be vigilant, please inform others — send it to your relatives and children on WhatsApp so that they remain careful,” the message said.

A sinhalese translation of this message started to circulate on social media recently, and now the  authorities have started to launch an investigation into the said WhatsApp group.

According to Daily Mirror, Western Province SDIG and all the senior police officials in other divisions have been informed to be on alert regarding the information.

H.C.A Pushpakumara, Director of Western Province Intelligence Division has sent a letter to Western Province SDIG that reports have been received  that there is WhatsApp group called ‘Interschool’ which related to ISIS.

“If someone is invited to join to this paticular WhatsApp group they cannot leave the group. Therefore, it would be appropriate to conduct a speedy investigation into this information,” he said in the letter.

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