Correction: Contributor claiming to be Al Thani, a fake.

January 7, 2014 12:23 am

Dear Readers,

qc - we're sorry

At the onset, allow us to tender our humble apologies.

This is reference to the following articles published in the Qatar Chronicle -

1)  Meeting of Qatari Youth to discuss the formation of Qatar Youth Caucus

2) World Cup Slaves in Qatar, Who is fooling who here

3) A National Day message for the Youth of Qatar

4) On Qatar World Cup Slaves and other invidious and vituperative discourses

5) This Attack on Qatari patriots must end

The above stories published on our ‘Citizen Journalist’ column have been deleted following requests from our readers. 

These articles had been attributed to two individuals named ‘Jassim bin Sosibo Al Thani’ and ‘Ahmed bin Hamad Al Thani’.

We wish to inform our dear readers that the profiles actually belonged to professional scam artists, who duped us as well as others into believing that they belonged to the Royal Family.

We apologize for our failure to conduct a proper background check on the individuals.

We have also received information that the two perpetrators belonged to a racket and advice our dear readers to remain vigilant if contacted by an individual going by the name of ‘Jassim bin Sosibo Al Thani’.

Qatar Chronicle - Error

 

We also advice our readers to be wary of any messages sent from the following email ids – <[email protected]> , <[email protected]> and <[email protected]>; which belong to the fake ‘Jassim’ and/or his co-conspirators.

How they did it

We were first contacted by this ‘Jassim’ early in October.

op-ed

 

Our editors rejected the first two of the articles for their inflammatory content as well as the failure on the part of this ‘Jassim’ to verify his identity.
 
However his next article was selected by our Editors to be published in the Citizen Journalist column, purely based on the merit of its content.  (our readers would be aware of QC’s long stand against the unjust portrayal of  Qatar in the western media).
scr2
 

And by now the gang had done their homework, the individual had various twitter and FB friends who also pretended to be well-connected Qatari, a blog with other writings, multiple references etc. These accounts networked well with other well known journalists on social media who constantly interacted with the fake accounts (one of these illustrious journalists, claimed to have met ‘Jassim’ in Bahrain; a tweet that has since been deleted). The name had even been added to the ‘Jaber bin Muhammed Al Thani’ branch of the Royal family on Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Thani). While there was ample evidence to the contrary, the list of references in support of the individual’s identity were simply too big to ignore. 

Bad Call

But in the end, every single time we received an article from the ‘scam artists’, it was down to us to decide whether or not to publish. And we’re sorry for the poor judgement on our part. The least we could do to make up was to publish this story in bold, rather than let it be confined to a footer nobody bothers to read.

We understand that we have betrayed the trust of our readers and sincerely hope that we can learn from these mistakes and move on.

We also thank two of our dear readers – Abdulla and LisaB for their contribution to bringing out this story.

Update 7th January, 2014 – by Aani Khathon

We also tender a special apology to OL (The individual has requested that we not refer to him by name). Who had brought the scam to our attention early in the first week of January. We had ignored his mail for more than a day and when we finally did get down to reading it, we were a little too thick-headed to believe his version of events. We’re truly sorry O.

About the Author

Kalim Ansari is a Working Partner and Contributor to Qatar Chronicle. With over a decade’s experience in journalism, Kalim has reported for a number of major international publications from Gaza, Jerusalem, Beirut and Cairo.

5 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Lisa Bseiso January 7, 2014 at 8:40 AM - Reply

    Excellent Post! I will spread the word in hope that justice will be done.

  2. Abdulla January 7, 2014 at 9:13 PM - Reply

    QC,

    Thank you for posting this. It would have been easy to just pretend like this whole thing didn’t happen but it shows QC’s professionalism to admit to this issue, correct it and learn from it. Can you please carry out an investigation on what the nature of the scam was? was it to gain attention only or something more nefarious? It would make a great story a la Frank Abagnale. I have a feeling this will get press coverage over the next few days and it would be great if QC takes the lead.

    Aani,

    If OL is happy to do so, and keeping OL’s name anonymous could you share some of the events mentioned in the email. Was anyone scammed? A great opportunity for some investigative journalism.

    Lisa,

    Great job and very sharp eye. Its great that you already caught out his new identity Qassim Tamimi, I informed QC of his new Facebook page so that people are warned. He had other profiles like Rania Al-Thani, Sakina Al-Thani, Nasser Al-Khater etc… I have a feeling he will keep on re-surfacing so keep up your work!

  3. Sageer khan January 7, 2014 at 10:49 PM - Reply

    This scammers played with our emmotions,and thoughts,how can we trust the people?

  4. Sageer khan January 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM - Reply

    playing with the emmotions of innocent people is no good action should be taken against such scammers well done lisa god bless you

  5. Yasmina Kada June 5, 2014 at 12:28 PM - Reply

    I just want to thank QC.
    I would like to say that it’s a good thing that QC decided to published the story because I just realize that I was duped too. So the death thing and sickness did not exist…
    That’s a shock even if we all know that they are a lot fake identities on fb. I wish we could find who are those people.
    Now it make sense that a day after his supposed death someone with the identity of Qassim Ibn Al Walid wanted to add me pretending he was a cousin of Ibn Sosibo, and when i start to ask question he said that he did not know him very well.

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