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’.
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.
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.
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.