In search of ‘Richard Tims’ (aka ‘abuislam’)

Posted by Tim Ireland at 8 January 2009

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

This entry was posted on
Thursday, January 8th, 2009
at
2:39 pm and is filed
under Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch.

WARNING: This is another ‘boring’ post about sock-puppets.

As has been reported by Septicisle, with a trimmed mirror at The Sun: Tabloid Lies, the good people at the Sun have based this entire front page story…

The Sun – Islamic fanatics name Alan Sugar, Mark Ronson and Lord Levy in a hit list of Britain’s leading Jews

… on a single external forum comment that may very well have been made by one of their own hacks:

I can confirm that the User “AbuIslam” who was posing as a Muslim on this forum is infact a freelance Journalist by the name of “Richard Tims” who registered on this forum to twist what the original Intent of this thread was for and to make Muslims look bad. Whether he works for the sun or not i dont know.

Abuislam Deliberated added comments on this thread which made is as if this thread was intended to cause harm to names that were mentioned

This has been confirmed from his IP address and Email addresses has he used on this forum and previous usernames

The above text is from an admin’s personal comment under this press release from Ummah.com. You may also be interested in this discussion of that press release and revelation on Ummah.com.

1) The Sun’s article is misrepresentation on a vast scale without the involvement of one of their own in a fishing expedition.

2) No-one in the Ummah.com forum got caught on the hook on that fishing expedition, so the article presents the *bait* as evidence of a catch. Extraordinary.

3) This single pathetic worm is the basis for a Front. Page. Story. which has since passed through the echo chamber resulting in widespread reporting of these online ‘threats’ as fact.

4) Uncovering the author’s true identity will take more digging than I have time for today (“Richard Tims” is almost certainly an alias if he or she has used that name in a previous profile in the same forum), but yelling “EXCLUSIVE!” really isn’t my bag, so here’s a breakdown of that author’s previous fishing expeditions to get your blood up. Happy hunting*!

[*And by that I mean you should hunt these people down and kill them in the name of Almighty God (a) tell others about this and (b) do what else you can to assist in the hunt for evidence of a connection between this ‘Richard Tims’ / ‘abuislam’ person and the Sun ‘news’ paper, John Coles and/or ‘Crime Editor’ Mike Sullivan.]

13-10-08, 03:37 PM

‘Abuislam’ posts a link to this Sunday Mercury article and its contents.

Result: No-one at Ummah.com responds to the news of the release of “terror preacher” Abu Izzadeen, so he ‘bumps’ the thread by reposting the link. Still no takers.

15-10-08, 10:05 AM

‘Abuislam’ finds form with the following question and a claim that it was raised by a ‘brother’ (that’s what you say instead of ‘friend of a friend’ when you’re also attempting to pass yourself off as a member of a religious group, apparently):

Does Marital Rape Exist?

Salaam Alykum wrwb

A brother asked a very interesting question last night and i thought i would share.

‘If a woman refuses her husband his right can he force himself upon her?’

Result: a successful troll, as far as that goes (55 replies and 843 page views), but it only sparked an argument within the group because any attempts to treat this as a thought experiment were met with resounding condemnation.

I’ve chosen to archive the following response here, as it includes pursuit of the thought experiment *and* condemnation, but if you have the time, I do encourage you to read the entire thread while it’s available. The strong vibe about not hurting other people or forcing them to do what you want them to do is unmistakable, and apart from some specifics, it’s pretty much what you’d expect from any forum populated by your typical mix of human beings.

You can* rape your wife but you will be answerable to Allah SWT on the Day of Judgement. Also I imagine by raping her you will destroy your relationship making her fear you and not be able to trust you.

So to anyone who would ask such a question how could you even think that Islam could promote such things? (facepalm)

(*Note – later in the thread, the person who wrote this response is forced to point out the difference between ‘can’ and ‘may’. Like I said; typical forum stuff. There are even those in this thread who clearly suspect a troll at work and flag it.)

15-10-08, 04:39 PM

‘Abuislam’ posts a link to this BBC article and its contents. The article mentions “two unidentified people who encouraged (a failed nail bomber) after contacting him via an extremist website” and ‘abuislam’ wonders out loud “which website he met radical muslims on.”

Result: No takers.

26-10-08, 10:51 AM

‘Abuislam’ posts a link to the Sun’s attempt to own a big slice of Help for Heroes goodwill via their role in the X Factor charity single by wannabe pop stars grouping under the same name.

Result: A moderator deletes the URL with the comment “are you for real?” and the only reader response is, in a nutshell, “we dont really discuss pop music here”.

Sadly for ‘abuislam’, no-one condemns the single in any way that might help the Sun promote it while hitting Muslims with a stick.

27-10-08, 12:19 AM

‘Abuislam’ posts a link to the this Sun non-story about Prince Harry (perhaps) qualifying for (maybe) training to (possibly) pilot a helicopter gunship.

Result: Let me show you the entire exchange at the time of posting. It clearly shows where ‘abuislam’ tries and fails to take the conversation:

abuislam: Prince Harry rides the dragon

‘asiya: 46 million pound for a helicopter that is not even easy to fly (rolls eyes) how ridiculous.

abuislam: what i should of posted brother is he’s going back to afghanistan soon.

Hey, do you remember when the local tabloids all kept quiet about Prince Harry being in Afghanistan for security purposes? Well, here he is being dangled as bait. Based on pure speculation obviously, but still…

And aside from where ‘abuislam’ failed to lead this conversation, there is the use of the word ‘brother’ in this context:

‘Asiya’ is a girl’s name; “considered to be one of four great, noble, and pious women in Islam” (and the user’s long-standing profile also makes their gender clear, even if the name is not instantly recognisable as a girl’s name in some quarters). By calling a woman ‘brother’ here, the author behind the ‘abuislam’ comments gives a pretty clear signal that they are not of the faith they claim to be.

Oh, stop acting so surprised. You’re not fooling anyone.

19-11-08, 04:50 PM

‘Abuislam’ posts a link to the notoriously-leaked BNP membership list and asks if anyone wants to; “Name and Shame any living near you?”

Result: Some interest in the data, and a welcome voice of reason saying; “I suggest you guys don’t. It goes against the Data protection Act and I think the forum would get in quite a bit of trouble for it.”

Trouble is pretty much what ‘abuislam’ was aiming for, it seems. But the Sun had similar issues with people dropping links to the data in their own forums, and no-one in this forum responded by saying or doing anything that could be interpreted as a threat. Apart from ‘abuislam’, of course.

02-01-09, 11:50 PM

Here’s where our sock-puppeting author either ran out of time and/or patience, or simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity presented by events in Gaza…

‘Abuislam’ arrives in a thread where the clearly stated aim from the outset is; “It would be beneficial to start compiling a list so that we can write polite letters reminding them of the injustices of israel and to stop supporting israel”

abuislam: Have we got list of top jews and supporters yet we can target? can someone start posting names and addresses. (permalink)

I don’t actually need to flag the lead on ‘jews’, do I? Good. The author later goes on to list some big names as ‘top jews’, including the one chosen for the front page of The Sun’s invented exposé …

abuislam: Sir Alan Sugar, Alan Howard, David Miliband (permalink)

When efforts are made by others to bring the thread back to the stated aim (writing polite letters), the author pulls up short of a prosecutable suggestion, but the intent to lead the conversation away from a moderate place is crystal clear:

abuislam: polite will not work. Target them with Demo’s out-side their Home’s and Business hit and run demo’s showing and exposing their war crimes in their support (thumbs up). (permalink)

Result: No takers… but the Sun runs an exposé anyway, by trying to pass off the bait as a catch.

And, yes, you should be bloody outraged about that. I know I am.

Once again; ‘Richard Tims’ is almost certainly an alias, and what is required is clear evidence of a connection between this ‘Richard Tims’ / ‘abuislam’ person and the Sun ‘news’ paper, John Coles and/or Mike Sullivan.

The more evidence there is, the more likely it is that someone at the Sun will be forced to take a big bite out of this particular shit-sandwich.

Good luck. I hope to join you on the hunt shortly.

On a final note; if you actually genuinely feared that a particular group of people had militant tendencies and that they were likely to hurt someone if provoked… why would you poke them with a stick?

UPDATE (6:30pm) – I let my own hopes, the bait-like nature of the ‘abuislam’ entries and the extraordinary level of wilful misrepresentation in the Sun to drive me a wee bit off course, there. At present, there is no evidence to link ‘abuislam’ directly to the Sun, and I should have made that clearer in this post and with this task.

However, I am hot on the same trail mikkkimoose found (see comments) and will have an exciting name to share with you shortly.

UPDATE (9pm) – The person behind ‘abuislam’ is revealed in this post. Oh, and under comments below by mikkimoose, who would be like clouds over the sun to evildoers if he had his own blog.

:o)








7 Comments

  1. AdamB says

    Amazing story if we can pin it down to a real person. When I saw this story I thought it was pretty weak even for the Sun, but this is of a different order if it does turn out to be a verifiable sock-puppet.

  2. mikkimoose says

    I think you've missed the point somewhat, which is that The Sun article is misrepresented, whether or not abuislam is genuine or not.Post 1:"Asalamalykum, it seems that the time is right to compile a list of british people who support IsraelIt would be beneficial to start compiling a list so that we can write polite letters reminding them of the injustices of israel and to stop supporting israel"(genuine member)A few days later from 'abuislam':"Have we got list of top jews and supporters yet we can target? can someone start posting names and addresses. "It's not bait at all, it's just a comment deliberately taken out of context (and presumably posted that way so it could be). The 'abuislam' comment asking for names and addresses to be 'targeted' is targeting in the sense that you 'target' a letter-writing campaign. There's no suggestion of a hit list at all. The only basis for the Sun's story is this apparent sockpuppet.Regarding 'Richard Tims', here's his only post:http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthread.php?p=27488…That site appears to be dead, despite only being setup in July, with anonymous registration.He's posted here asking for SEO help:http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Web_Search_…And spammed herehttp://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.ht…Neither ID goes anywhere though.It appears unlikely that The Sun were involved in this, it looks like this 'Richard Tims' is a freelancer with a crappy website who made a fake story and sold it to The Sun. If he worked for The Sun, it's very unlikely he would have setup such a site (and less likely still that it is down now).He does appear to have an interest in this subject, see spam here:http://lionheartuk.blogspot.com/2008/08/islam-uk….And here:http://www.haloscan.com/comments/mypetjawa/193722http://www.haloscan.com/comments/mypetjawa/193223…This story has been picked up by a fair few newspapers including The Guardian, but it does appear to be laziness on all sides, plus one dishonest individual, rather than anything to do with The Sun itself.Anyway, I daresay he could probably be imprisoned for inciting religious hatred, or one of the many categories of thoughtcrime created recently.

  3. Manic says

    You've picked up most of the trail I have so far, mikkimoose (I have all of this, plus a name that I hope to use here shortly), and I currently suspect you're right in terms of the Sun's involvement…. but I stand by the description of the 'abuislam' posts as bait.

  4. Manic says

    I meant to show much more graitude for the time you spent on that, mikkimoose. My apologies. It's rush rush rush here, and all too often I let manners slip when busy. New post to follow with these details… and a name.

  5. Manic says

    Phew! We're neck and neck:http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2009/01/glen… *I agree on almost everything (I'm wary of the word 'nutter', especially after so many Tory memes about mental health) especially this:"Glen Jenvey has gone to The Sun with this fabricated story about 'targets', using his own sockpuppet posts."He was probably encouraged by the reaction to this earlier success and wanted more:http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article…[*edit: link fixed now the damn thing has rebuilt properly.]

  6. mikkimoose says

    [This comment has been temporarily withdrawn as a goodwill gesture to Mr Jenvey. It may return in edited form later. Tim @ 21:25 03/03/09]

  7. mikkimoose says

    [This comment has been temporarily withdrawn as a goodwill gesture to Mr Jenvey. It may return in edited form later. Tim @ 21:25 03/03/09]

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