Earlier today, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs emailed us about a death threat he had received, apparently from an employee of Reuters in London. It’s a complicated story; you can read it all here. LGF got an email from the obviously fictitious address, “[email protected]” (“Zionist pig” is revealing, I think.) The subject heading was: “You bunch of wankers.” That jumped out at me; to my knowledge, the only people who use the word “wanker” (Is it a word? Beats me.) are left-wing bloggers and their commenters. This was the text of the email:
I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut….
I would not, personally, consider that a death threat, although it’s certainly an unpleasant message. We’ve gotten a lot worse from liberals, and I’m sure Charles has too. Nowadays, that’s pretty much how liberals talk.
What struck me most about this episode is how technically skilled Charles is. The poor buffoon from Reuters who sent the email never knew what hit him. Charles was able to trace his IP address around the globe, and it quickly emerged that the miscreant was Inayat Bunglawala (but see updates below). This column by Bunglawala–an extraordinarily silly column, postulating that Christians and Muslims can get along if Christians just give up on the divinity of Christ–was apparently the source of the problem.
Another thing that struck me is that Bunglawala, notwithstanding the fact that he considers “Zionists”–what was that code for, again?–to be “pigs,” and has himself written extremist articles, according to Charles, was chosen by the British government as one of seven “conveners” for a Home Office task force responsible for tackling extremism among young Muslims.
Charles complained to Reuters; Reuters promised to look into the matter; and the latest word comes from Reuters’ Head of Global Communications:
Following your email regarding the posting of an offensive message that was sent from a Reuters IP address, I can confirm that an employee has been suspended pending further investigation. The individual was not an employee of Reuters’ news division.
An interesting episode. Charles could have a second career tracking down liberal hate-mailers. There are lots more where Charles’s correspondent came from.
PAUL adds: The word “wanker” is also big among English soccer fans, as in “Harry Kewell is a wanker.” The highly sanitized translation is “Harry Kewell is worse than useless.”
JOHN UPDATES: Sanitized, indeed! I wanted to add that, while I understood Charles’ post (with many updates) to indicate that Bunglawala was the culprit, others think that there is still some ambiguity. So for now, we should just say that the miscreant was a Reuters employee.
FURTHER UPDATE: This guy, who refers to our post but apparently didn’t read it to the end, says:
In all likelihood, Bungawala was not the one who sent the email to Charles. It was probably a 29-year old techie named “Dave” — possibly David Diego — who works for AlertNet.org, a “humanitarian” division of Reuters.
We, of course, have no idea whether the malefactor was Bungawala, Diego or someone else. It does appear clear that the individual was a Reuters employee.
FINAL UPDATE: Charles Johnson writes:
Just want to let you guys know that there’s no real solid proof that Inayat Bunglawala used the LGF contact form to send me that threat. Lots of circumstantial evidence, but only a Reuters network admin would be able to definitely prove where it came from. If you read carefully, you’ll see that I was careful not to to directly accuse Bunglawala in my post.
Well, that was evidently a misunderstanding on my part. I read Charles’ post to mean that his research had identified Bunglawala as the culprit. As I said above, we don’t have any knowledge about this other than what Charles reported.