'Zionist' editor accused of inciting jihad

By Marcus Dysch, July 10, 2014
Richard Ferrer

Richard Ferrer

The editor of a Jewish newspaper was bombarded with antisemitic abuse after being falsely accused of stirring up jihadi activity in a bizarre case of mistaken identity.

Richard Ferrer, editor of London's Jewish News, was targeted because users of a Muslim website believed he had posted a message "pledging allegiance to the caliphate".

The web post called on Muslims to support Sharia law and wage war and jihad against the West.

Site users traced the post to a computer which had been registered in Mr Ferrer's name when he worked for the Daily Mail.

When they realised he was a Jewish journalist, his Twitter account was targeted with racist abuse.

Describing the response, Mr Ferrer wrote: "I was called a 'slimy Jew', a 'rabid Zionist' and 'filthy racist scum'."

One message threatened: "I'll put you in a f***ing ashtray."

One Twitter user, believing Mr Ferrer still worked at the Daily Mail, alerted the Metropolitan Police, asking whether the newspaper had intentionally used a reporter to pose as a jihadist and incite racial hatred.

In an attempt to calm the storm, Mr Ferrer pointed out that he had left the Mail in 2008 and was completely unconnected with the posting on the Muslim site.

The Mail also confirmed the message had not been sent from its offices.

Reflecting on the chain of events, Mr Ferrer wrote: "My best guess is the author was keen to kill two birds with one stone by publicly defaming a Jewish journalist and the Daily Mail in one fell swoop."

Last updated: 4:45pm, July 10 2014