18 June 2009

Ohio Man Attacked. . .By Iran?

Here's a potentially frightening scenario--Iranians in the USA assaulting Americans sympathetic to the opposition.

Someone who has been truly helpful at helping Iranians with proxies announced on Twitter that he'd been on his way to university in Ohio was attacked by "Iranian or Lebanese" men. This appeared on one Twitter feed:
Leaving for college now. Not sure if I'll be permitted to tweet from class. If not, will write full summary of events between classes.

Am safe, hidden away. Will continue to post reports from Iran, no more info about me.

Details: was attacked by single vehicle throwing rocks while walking. Am safe now, though not in contact with anyone in Iran.

@[redacted] No, I live in America.

I'm fine, filed police report (though they seemed uninterested) Huffington Post will be posting more details at some point.
In an interview with a DailyKos diarist, the man elaborated, saying that his attackers were "a group of men that seemed to be either Iranian or Lebanese [. . . .] They drove up besides him and threw rocks at him while shouting, "Mousavi Fraud." Also, the man told the interviewer "that his personal information was leaked, and is currently being spread both online and inside of Iran amongst the government." The interviewer took this as "a strong indicator of how international in scope these events are. A [sic] American on American soil has already been attacked due to these protests in Iran."

As the man alerted folks on Twitter, The Huffington Post did post more details.
10:35 AM ET -- A word of caution. This DailyKos diary, now featured in the "recommended" section, reports that a man in Ohio who has been helping Iranians on Twitter had his personal information leaked, and then was harassed by three men shouting anti-Mousavi slogans as he walked to his university.

We heard the same rumors yesterday, and my colleague Sam Stein tried to figure out what happened. The Ohio college that the man told us he attended said they had no record of him as a student. And after saying he had called 911 to report the incident, the man gave a reason for why he thought that the police wouldn't end up having a record of the 911 call.

It's certainly possible that this attack occurred, which would obviously be unfortunate and disturbing. But more confirmation is definitely needed.
Indeed. It's horrific that this might happen; there's every chance that it did occur. However, it's troubling that nobody, besides Nico Pitney and Sam Stein, seems to have checked up on this story (e.g., checking with sources other than the alleged victim). People seem to prefer stoking paranoia.

Confirm. Verify.

Update: The story has now appeared at Democratic Underground and the commentators are, well, skeptical. It's also appeared at Slashdot, where the commentators are a bit more accepting. It's also being posted at Rush Limbaugh's site, as well as a few other places.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Twittering Ashley Todd...twittering Ashley Todd...