Someone Pretends to be a Daily Mail Journalist Pretending to be an Jihadi

Richard Ferrer writes, at the Independent:

This week I became the story. I was called a “slimy Jew”, a “rabid zionist” and “filthy racist scum”.

It started on Saturday night when sinister tweets began appearing on my timeline, claiming I’d been “tripped up”, had “got my comeuppance” and been a “naughty boy”.

Next came a barrage of links to a message board on Muslim website Ummah.com. The top post was headed: “i am pledging allegiance to the caliphate”.

It read: “salam my sisters and brothers we should get out of this evil country and pledge our allegiance to the Muslim sharia law and get out of evil west. who wants to join me so we can wage war and jihad against the corrupt west.”

A computer boffin identified the message had originated from the IP address address Richard.Ferrer@dailymail.co.uk.

The post was made by a new forum member, using the name “abuaisha10″; shortly thereafter, a second poster asked why abuaisha10’s registration IP resolved to “Evening Standard Newspaper”. A third poster then added: “It says dailymail for me Hostname: mos.integration.dailymail.co.uk”, and linked the alleged IP  – 195.234.240.212 – to “richard.ferrer.dailymail.co.uk” (Ferrer has mistakenly turned this sub-domain into an email address).

For some reason, there is an eveningstandard.uk domain that was registered to Northcliffe House (the Mail‘s address) last month, which explains the confusion over whether the IP is associated with the Evening Standard or the Mail (H/T Unity); however, the bigger false lead was to link the IP to Ferrer. As Unity points out, the IP is actually resolves to a gateway server for sub-domains attached to many names associated with the Mail – and Ferrer left the paper six years ago.

So was it someone else at the Mail? Apparently not; according to Ferrer:

Next day, on Monday morning, the Daily Mail confirmed the message had not been sent from its offices and I was no longer on their IT database. In fact, after six years they didn’t have a clue who I was.

This suggests the IP was faked in some way. Ferrer adds:

My best guess is the author was keen to kill two birds with one stone by publicly defaming a Jewish journalist and the Daily Mail in one fell swoop. It was almost Mission Accomplished.

Perhaps, although the naming of Ferrer may have been a genuine error rather than an act of malice – repeated lookups of the IP data yield different a name each time, apparently randomly (H/T Tim Ireland). There may also be other motives: for instance, it’s possible that someone wanted to whip up a bogus anti-Daily Mail furore that they knew would eventually fall apart and embarrass those who had invested in it.

Certainly, impersonating a Muslim extremist on a forum would be a breathtakingly stupid thing for any journalist to do in the wake of 2009’s “Terror Target Sugar” fiasco, which ended with a substantial payout to Sugar from the Sun (Sugar also threatened to sue Rebeka Brooks personally) and an arrest.

24 Responses

  1. If this was a deliberate attempt to whip up a bogus anti-Daily Mail furore then it is also an unnecessary one. The DM are guaranteed to give them ammunition at some point without having to fake it.

  2. I lack any technical knowledge at all of these issues. But I fail to see how someone could have faked a DMG Media Limited gateway address to post the comment on Ummah.com.

    The issue of difference hostnames would now appear to have been resolved, by the way, presumably by someone from the Daily Mail Group IT department. The hostname now appears as r1.assocnews.co.uk

    So there seems no question that the Ummah.com comment was posted from a Daily Mail Group computer.

    • Anybody with IT knowledge knows how to do these things. The owner of Ummah.com owned his own server which means he must be IT savvy.

      You are not as innocent as you make out, Mr Bob Pitt. It appears you penned a piece picked up by other Israel and Jew haters to make viral. Loonwatch.com did not post a comment I wrote exposing this farce, which shows how islamists are happy to cry islamophobia but are not honourable enough to apologise. Nobody buys.

      You owe an apology.

      • “Loonwatch.com did not post a comment I wrote exposing this farce…”

        Is that so? I checked and found NO COMMENTS in reference to that cross post in the trash at Loonwatch.com. Not a single one.

        Posting this article wasn’t part of some sinister “Islamist” plot. We posted the story, and have since added two updates, as details became available. Not sure why you think anyone owes you an apology.

        Maybe you should apologize for lying about us deleting your comment.

  3. Almost every single article and comment I have read assumes that the Dail Mail IP address was used to post the original “i am pledging allegiance to the caliphate” comment. Unless the police check the forum we do not know what took place as we only the the word of sajid who as far as I’m aware is the forum owner. Anyone can play dirty tricks…

  4. These kind of tricks are what jihadis employ in an attempt to gain supporters. conspiracies against Jews are common in the Muslim world, in the west it has to be disguised as ‘zionism’ with the same Jewish targets.

    Here is a takedown of how Islamophobia is employed to further the aim of ‘soft jihad’ which is complicit with ‘hard jihad’. They collude and aid each other

    Loon Watch propagates lies claiming that a Daily Mail reporter posted a jihad call on Ummah Com
    Loon Watch’s sensational headline; Did Daily Mail incite ‘war against the corrupt west’? turns out be another lie. Or is it a collusion with Ummah .com, a notorious Islamist forum?
    http://loonwatchexposed.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/loon-watch-propagates-lies-claiming.html

  5. Ummah.com has a lot of extremists posting there, it’s fitting that Bob Pit should seize upon this. He is a disgrace.
    His work is cross posted at Loon Watch. Loon Watch is anonymous they are too ashamed to say they are Musim because they will scare away those they need to legitimise their lies>

  6. I completely accept that Richard Ferrer has been unfairly targeted, but the issue of the Daily Mail’s possible involvement seems more uncertain. Many people have tweeted or blogged about this, and I don’t think it’s reasonable to single out Loonwatch.

    @Jim – my understanding is that Loonwatch writers prefer not to identify their faith (or lack of it) as they feel it should’t be relevant to the arguments they put forward.

    • @Sarah

      Loonwatch are afraid to say they are a Moslem site because then they would then need to explain their troublesome theology. By pretending they are irreligious they can demand rights they would not be able to if they were Moslem.

      I also think they refuse to say they are moslem so that they can use left wing socialist Westerners and Jewish writers to delegitimise Israel without having to explain jihadist and genocidal Islamic replacement theology. They have defended Hamas. This is ploy that Western islamists use to absolve themselves of charges of anti-semitism. This is why don’t they let their islamist commenters write. Loonwatch copy and paste stuff from mainstream media, when they can easily have their Moslem islamist members and writers. Heck, they even link to this website.

      • In one comment, you accuse us of being atheists and in another of being secret “moslems.” Which is it? Make up your mind.

    • Why, what is your opinion then? Do you believe the Daily Mail WERE behind it? I’m inclined to go along with what Bartholomew wrote, and I suspect the person who did this had a role in promoting the story too.

      • Since your other comment doesn’t have a reply option, I’ll do it here.

        “Danios is Cenk Uygur isn’t he, the Armenian genocide denier?”

        That’s a new one. He’s Reza Aslan or Nathan Lean or Cenk Uygar. He’s an atheist or a secret Muslim. Danios is whatever you want him to be in your fevered, speculative imagination. He isn’t even writing for LW these days.

        “His beef with Spencer was over his anti Turkish stance.”

        Wrong. Our primary beef with Spencer is that he’s liar.

        “People will mock atheists and agnostics for claiming to fight ‘islamophobia’.”

        Why? We welcome people of all faith backgrounds–or no faith at all–to join the fight against bigotry. I see no problem with that.

        “Why is Leslie Hazleton his choice to write the preface to his book and not a Moslem?”

        Why does she have to be? She’s an ethnically Jewish agnostic. So what?

        “I just checked your twitter account. It is a shame that your attempts to ingratiate yourself to Justin Raimondo by begging him to ‘friend’ you failed.”

        What a ridiculous assertion. His account spontaneously followed many people, and while trying to help him figure out the problem, I took the opportunity to commend his work. I didn’t even *ASK* him to follow (not friend) me, never mind *BEG* him. I invite anyone interested to read the exchange and decide for themselves.

        “Maybe he can seewhat you were trying to do?”

        What we’re trying to do is combat anti-Muslim bigotry. Perfectly transparent mission I hope everyone can see.

  7. As Richard Bartholomew has pointed out, while the gateway address was given as DGM Media, a variety of hostnames came up in IP searches, one of which was richard.ferrer.dailymail.co.uk. That’s how Richard Ferrer got wrongly accused.

    Since then somebody (presumably from DMG Media’s IT department) would appear to have done some tinkering. Now all the IP lookup services I’ve tried give r1.assocnews.co.uk as the hostname.

    So it seems likely that an employee of DGM Media was the troll at Ummah.com. Possibly it was some junior reporter who was told to go find some evidence of support for “Abu Osama” and his views within the Muslim community, and in the absence of such evidence decided to try and manufacture it.

    That seems to make more sense than supposing some convoluted conspiracy, for which no evidence exists, to fake a DGM Media IP address in order to stitch up the Daily Mail.

  8. I meant DMG Media.

  9. I don’t often say this but – I’m minded to agree with Bob Pitt.

  10. heheheh,’Ilisha’ is that your new name change from ‘emperor’? I posted a comment but it wasn’t under the name ‘Tom’ so you how do you know that it isn’t there. Or you are just lying.

    You can pretend otherwise, but its clear that your blog loonie watch is run by somebody desperate to show he/she is not a Moslem islamist not unlike those at ammah.com but at least they’re honest. They do not pretend to be otherwise. so you copy and post stuff from mainstream media then beg your readers for money for a book you do not deliver.

    • READ what I wrote carefully. There isn’t A SINGLE COMMENT IN THE TRASH related to that article. So it really doesn’t matter what name you might have posted under.

      Got it?

      Now, anyone who has been on LW for very long knows I have zero incentive to lie. I never apologize for deleting comments. If we deleted it, I wouldn’t have bothered to challenge your claim.

      You’re lying, and we both know it.

  11. loonie watch promised their readers a book from ‘danios’ if they donated money. They chose to raise funds from their readers in a way that does not reveal their identity. They milked $8000 over a year ago as can be seen here but no book has been forthcoming.

    One has to wonder at the stupidity of readers who would contribue to an anonymous blogger for a book which claims to ‘rebut’ Robert Spencer. How can an anonymous person ‘rebut’ Robert Spencer?

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/loonwatch-fund-our-fight-against-islamophobia

    • What’s anonymity got to do with it? Arguments stand on their own merit.

      Besides if an anonymous person couldn’t rebut Spencer, then Spencer wouldn’t need to keep running from Danios–just as he ran from me on Twitter.

      • @Ilisha

        Danios is Cenk Uygur isn’t he, the Armenian genocide denier? His beef with Spencer was over his anti Turkish stance. He is an atheist, which is why Loonwatch are too cowardly to say they are not Moslem. People will mock atheists and agnostics for claiming to fight ‘islamophobia’. Why is Leslie Hazleton his choice to write the preface to his book and not a Moslem?

        I just checked your twitter account. It is a shame that your attempts to ingratiate yourself to Justin Raimondo by begging him to ‘friend’ you failed. Maybe he can seewhat you were trying to do?

  12. Bob Pitt you misrepresent what Richard Bartholomew wrote. You claim:

    ‘Since then somebody (presumably from DMG Media’s IT department) would appear to have done some tinkering.’

    But you completely ignore the first link to ‘The Independent’ that Bartholomew used. The Independent and the Jewish Chronicle, (both respected media outlets) have CONFIRMED that the comment did not originate at the Daily Mail office.

    @Sarah, why do lump yourself with Bob when the Independent confirmed that the comment wasn’t from their office? Bartholomew’s first link from The Independent has this:

    ‘Next day, on Monday morning, the Daily Mail confirmed the message had not been sent from its offices’

    • “The Independent and the Jewish Chronicle, (both respected media outlets) have CONFIRMED that the comment did not originate at the Daily Mail office.”

      But neither the Indy nor the JC was in a position to CONFIRM anything of the sort. What they did was report the Mail’s own claim that the comment didn’t originate at their office.

  13. I find it hard to believe that the Daily Mail would resort to such trickery and then lie as Bob Pitt is hinting. I note that Bob Pitt’s work is reproduced at Loon Watch. Now we learn that (Loon Watch) raised $8000 anonymously.

    That facts are that the Daily Mail sock puppet ‘conspiracy’ ought to be viewed in context of this story on Bob Pitt: http://hurryupharry.org/2008/06/12/bob-pitt-master-of-sock-puppets/

    Elsewhere, there has been speculation that the Loon Watch editor is Nathan Lean. I do not believe this.
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/03/exposed-aslan-media-editor-in-chief-nathan-lean-is-garibaldi-of-hate-site-loonwatch

    After all he neither allows comments to challenge his lies at Islamophobia Watch, and he pretends to be an ‘activist’ whereas Loon Watch solicit money from their readers.

    It appears that Loon Watch is a set up by someone who does not want his real identity revealed but in all likelihood has an internet present elsewhere where he cannot be seen to solicit funds and where he is unwilling to take comments on ‘articles’.

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