Aug 5, 2011

Bahrain: Liliane Khalil, Another Blog Hoax or Propaganda?

On 2 August 2011, British blogger and PhD Student, Marc Owen Jones (@marcowenjones) wrote a post about his investigation into the identity of an alleged Arab-American Journalist named Liliane Khalil (@Liliane_Khalil). Jones traced back all the social media accounts of this persona, only to discover that she had made up all the events she attended, the interviews she conducted, and the people she met. In addition, she claimed to have worked at CNN in Atlanta and as a journalist for Turkish newspaper, “Sabah” who in fact denied knowing her. Three articles she claimed were published by “Sabah”, were actually copied from Reuters.

Jones also tried to analyze the relationship between Khalil and the Bahraini regime, especially since she was supposed to have been the US Bureau Chief of Bahrain Independent (a pro-regime newspaper that mysteriously disappeared). In her online communications, Khalil has been in favor of all Arab uprisings except for the one in Bahrain, which she described as a plan hatched in Iran. This has led people to wonder whether she is either an agent of Bahrain, or whether it could be a Western hoax, as in the recent “A Gay Girl in Damascus” blog, which turned out to be authored by an middle-aged American male professor.

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