“Madonna Targeted by Muslim Fanatics” Story Scrutinised

Four days after the Sun ran its notorious “Terror Target Sugar” front-page splash, the following article appeared in the People:

Madonna Gaza

As with the Alan Sugar article, the evidence that Madonna faced a terror threat in relation to Gaza was culled from postings to a Muslim discussion forum:

On the notorious Islambase site, a Palestinian terror leader says: “If I meet these whores I will have the honor to be the first one to cut the head off Madonna if they will keep spreading their satanic culture against Islam.”

The vile threat was made by Muhammad Abdel-Al, leader of the Popular Resistance Committees – a fringe group of Palestinian militia who have launched thousands of rocket attacks on Israel.

 Another misspelt rant on Islambase says: “What can be done to stop kuffars like maddona supporting the killing in Gaza?”

On another site called Ummah a fanatic naming himself Hammed10 writes: “Madonna is a disgrace.

“She insults us with her slutty behaviour and then she insults us further with her love of the Jewish kuffar non-Muslims.

“Some brothers were talking about what to do about this the other day on another site. I don’t want to say too much on here. But you can pm me send a private message.”

Unity at Ministry of Truth points out that the comment by Abdel-Al is actually a 2007 quote, given to WorldNetDaily‘s Aaron Klein in response to a question about how he would run America, and was not connected to any particular new development concerning Gaza. However, Unity has also dug much deeper and discovered that the postings to the two Muslim forums are deeply suspicious. In particular:

In all, Hammed10 made only five posts on Ummah’s forum, all on this one thread and all from an account that had been registered on the same day that this thread appeared (9th January).

In fact, on close examination of the full thread, it transpires that, but for a single comment at the very end of the thread by ‘Ibn Sina’, all the comments on this thread that were critical of Madonna, including Hammed10’s comment, came from new accounts that had been registered on same day that the thread appeared… Email and IP address information… indicates that all four of these accounts, which were all registered on 9 January, all supplied false email addresses and made use of anonymity services/software to conceal their real IP address and, therefore, their location and the internet service provider they were using.

Unity then casts an eye over Paul Ray’s blog – on the same day, Ray posted that he was also under threat from extremists on Ummah. Unity notes:

There is no evidence to show that that comment was ever posted on Ummah.com’s forums prior to its appearance on Ray’s blog. However, within a few hours of Ray posting that article, a link to it was posted to the forum at Ummah,com, along with its full text,  using the username ‘aljih’. Once again, this was a newly registered account and the post relating to Ray’s article was this users first and only post on the forum. However, what makes this user of particular interest is the fact that their one and only post was made from the same IP address that had been used, earlier, by Umm_765, one of the would-be agent provocateurs on the Madonna thread.

Unity’s discussion of the evidence goes into much further detail. He goes on to note that the People journalist responsible for the Madonna story, Daniel Jones, received an email from Patrick Mercer MP’s office in March offering him information derived from Glen Jenvey, who was responsible for the fake Alan Sugar story. Remarkably, this was after Jenvey’s faking had been brought to public attention by Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads and had featured both in the Guardian and Private Eye.

Unity also notes interest in Islambase from our old friend Dominic Wightman. There is no suggestion here that Wightman was involved in planting bogus messages on this site, although he certainly did post a fake document on-line somewhere else in an attempt to deceive Tim and me into writing about someone against whom he has a grudge (this is not a matter of argument: he has admitted to it, justifying his actions as some kind of undercover action  against us as “lefties”). Patrick Mercer has distanced himself from Jenvey – indeed, he has gone so far as to suggest that his office never worked with Jenvey, which is manifestly untrue. However, he has not yet said anything publicly about Dominic Wightman, whom he also endorsed and with whom he posed for a photograph outside New Scotland Yard. It should be noted that Wightman has recently berated Tim and me for getting information on IP addresses from Ummah.com – he believes that it is a sign of a “Red Black Alliance” of Muslim extremists and leftwingers. Clearly, this is an avenue of research that he’s keen to discourage.

Unity also gives link to a January 2008 article on Wightman’s Westminster Journal website, that is of particular interest to me. Here’s an extract:

The residue of the now banned British-based radical Islamist groups, Al Muhajiroun, the Saved Sect and Al Ghurabaa currently use the website Islambase to congregate when Omar Bakri’s cyber mosque on Paltalk is closed. The site is full of “fake jihadi” chatter and members’ whimsical sighing about their brothers (and some sisters) who are now locked up in jail.

The site was part of a December 2007 investigation by a team of Russian hackers, who entered several extremist Islamist sites around the world. Using their manipulated version of eBlaster they recorded the key strokes of certain users of these extremist sites for up to several days. Those users who clicked on the Russians’ links and entered the websites at certain times fell into their clever traps.

… Islambase’s Hamza… shows himself to be the least likely pure Islamist…After seventeen minutes on Strangeland, he goes for something even more hardcore on a site called Puretna. Clicking on “TNAFlix full length streaming porn movies for free!!!”

In the same month that this was published, a one-post only blog was created by someone going  by the name “James Osposol”, and with the username “Rosposol”. “Rosposol”, interestingly, is a word used in the official email addresses of Russian embassies. The site, now removed, pasted in a chunk of material from my blog, and added the intro:

“Hi, I’m Bartholomew and you can find me doing what i do best here…”

This was followed with a link to a pornographic video on TNAFlix, featuring an actor who perhaps could look a bit like me. More recently, another attack blog has made fun of a supposed physical similarity between myself and the vicar from Dad’s Army. However, Wightman has assured me that he had nothing to do with the “Osposol” blog. The name of “James Osposol” was brought to my attention by investigators at Spinwatch, who found the name in correspondence relating to VIGIL [UPDATE: And for those curious about the video, I’ve captured a safe-for-work screenshot of the actor’s face here] .