A social media influencer who has worked for the BBC has claimed there was ‘no evidence’ women were raped on October 7 and suggested that more Israelis were killed by their own side than Hamas.
Sarah Magdy, an Egyptian who has made films and written articles for the BBC’s Arabic service, posted a video to her 128,000 followers on Instagram in which she said: “Israel is killing its own people. It seems everything we knew about October 7 is a complete lie. Someone call Piers Morgan please.”
Magdy punctuates her video, which is in English with Arabic subtitles, with frequent giggles, sighs and winks.
“The death toll is not 1,400 as we knew. They did a revision and now the number is down 200,” the episode goes on.
“The other 200 - they counted Hamas as their own casualties. Now, seems like people who were killed at the Nova festival were killed by Israel from combat helicopters, not Hamas, and Hamas did not target them because they did not know about the festival… Seems like everything we heard about the festival was very inaccurate.”
Those murdered at kibbutzim near Gaza were also killed by Israel, Magdy says: “In Israeli media we heard about some survivors in the October 7 attacks that Israeli civilians were killed by Israeli forces…. Israeli forces shelled houses and killed Israeli civilians. Survivors said at least 112 Be’eri people were killed by the Israeli forces. So now Israel killed its own people at the Nova festival, shelled houses and killed people at the kibbutz.”
As for the sexual violence perpetrated by the terrorists, Magdy says there are “no evidences [sic] that women were raped, but seems to me that someone is lying”.
Overall, she concludes, “it seems to me you [Israel] killed more people than Hamas did.”
Magdy spent a year studying journalism at Kent University funded by British taxpayers through a Foreign Office scholarship, and claims to be an expert on jihadi terrorists and their use of social media.
Now living in Rochester, Magdy made her inflammatory claims on 20 November in an episode of The Sarah Show, which she posts several times a week on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.
Magdy’s LinkedIn profile says the BBC has been her main employer since 2016, and describes her as a “multimedia journalist, filmmaker, content creator and multimedia consultant”.
It adds that she has “advanced knowledge of Jihadi groups” thanks to the dissertation she wrote when she did her master’s in journalism on a Foreign Office Chevening Scholarship 2015-16. Her essay “investigated and explained how and why they use different social media platforms”.
The most recent of the numerous filmed segments she has made for BBC Arabic was an item about street art in Tunisia broadcast in June. In August she wrote a website article about women’s football.
A BBC spokesperson told the JC: "Sarah was on a freelance contract. She last worked on a project for the BBC in early October, prior to October 7th, on a feature filmed in Egypt and unrelated to Israel and the Palestinians. We have no plans to work with her again.”
Magdy was approached for comment.