How the “Cheerleaders” Recruit New People into their Harassment Campaigns

Numerous times now I have written blog entries on a group of cyber-bullies which calls itself the “Cheerleaders”. Their original targets were Muslim extremists – after all, who cares if they get harassed? – but they also fixate on other people, most notably the blogger Tim Ireland, whom they have subjected to a campaign of abuse and threats in the stated hope that he would be forced to leave the country. As has been documented at length, their campaign has included posting his home address on-line and sending it to hostile parties; this was shortly after Tim had been the subject of a smear campaign accusing him of being a wanted paedophile, and shortly after he had engaged in some anti-BNP activism.

All this time, the “Cheerleaders” have themselves for the most part hidden behind pseudonyms. We know there is an overlap with a music band called “The Fighting Cocks”, with at least three members actively involved. Most obviously, there is the band’s singer, Charlie Flowers, who has threatened to come around to Tim’s house for a fight, and who recently told Tim – distastefully – that he would perform a “Gypsy curse” against Tim’s family. There’s also Dan Wilde, whom Tim approached for an explanation for the harassment and who declined to disassociate himself from the attacks. I’ve also received a message from another associate of the group – someone who calls himself “Matthew Edwards”.

So we have three named members. However, there are other “Cheerleaders” members, and a Facebook page (entitled “Cheerleadered”) has over 200 “friends” listed. Most of these 200 probably joined up after accepting casual invitations, and do not know about the harassing activities. Among the core group, though, is someone who calls herself “Amarah Hadchiti” or “Shooter Hadchiti”, which was recently amended to “Shooter Kirpachi”. Here she (or he, perhaps?) is boasting on Facebook about driving someone off-line:

I’ve redacted a couple of names from the above screen-shot, as these belonged to actual people who may been expecting a bit of privacy.

The background to this particular exchange is that the “Cheerleaders” had recently made links with the serial fraudster Farah Damji, who enjoys some sort of cult following; Damji is described as an “officer” on the Cheerledered Facebook page. Damji was recently found guily of new offences, and as the day of her sentencing approached someone used Twitter to advertise the fact widely. The “Cheerleaders” in turn made threats against this person, warning her that they would cause trouble for her with her employer. That person’s Twitter feed was also suspended, and the above suggests that it was complaints from the “Cheerleaders” which achieved this result (As an aside, despite a sudden health scare which delayed sentencing for a few days – during which time Damji managed a few messages such as the above from her sick bed – she recovered enough for sentencing finally to take place, and she is now in prison.).

Here’s a second exchange:

This is an obvious reference to Tim Ireland, whom they have accused of stalking because he has sought answers about who has been conducting the campaign against him and why. Last week, Tim wrote about one of Charlie Flowers’ friends, who had been cc-ed into a threatening email which Flowers had sent to Tim and who had declined to distance himself from it. Flowers, as ever, resorted to threats to try to divert Tim from his path, culminating in his “Gypsy curse” on Tim’s family. The timing of the above fits with that.

This is of course more harassment, rationalised with a vicious lie clearly being used to incite – and the new development here is that they are recruiting a person who hasn’t hidden behind a pseudonym into their campaign. This person should know better, of course, but one can see how if they believe “Kirpachi’s” comment they might enter into a particular course of action. They whould then face the legal repercussions, while “Kirpachi” continues to skulk behind a hidden identity. Nasty.