According to Samira Ibrahim, poised to be recognized as a Woman of Courage today by our State Department, the person posting the offending tweets for weeks at a time, and politely responding to critiques of said tweets, was a hacker. Until Ibrahim was no longer being honored by the State Department, at which point Ibrahim was all, “No regrets!” The State Dept. has since deferred her award in the wake of the tweet controversy.
Ibrahim claimed yesterday that her Twitter page had been “stolen” and she was not responsible for the hateful comments. Today the State Department announced it was deferring her award pending further review.
Finally, Ibrahim herself has spoken, writing in Arabic on her Twitter page. Egyptian democracy activist Mina Rezkalla provides the translation: “I refuse to apologize to the Zionist lobby in America regarding my previous anti-Zionist statements under pressure from American government therefore they withdrew the award.”
This would seem to settle the question as to whether or not her page had been “stolen.” Now all that’s left is for the State Department to demand that Ibrahim reimburse American taxpayers for her trip to the United States.
Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman, had said earlier Thursday that Ibrahim was on her way back to Egypt and would not participate in a State Department ceremony Friday that will honor nine other recipients of the International Women of Courage Award.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and First Lady Michelle Obama will preside at the ceremony.
Ibrahim had claimed her Twitter account was hacked and that she did not write the tweets in question. The State Department said it was conducting “forensics” to determine if that was the case.
Methinks sophisticated Twitter “forensics” work by a State Dept. team that didn’t even bother to vet her public Twitter feed before flying her here is likely to be ineffective, and thanks to Ibrahim’s new forthrightness, unnecessary.
A July 18 tweet on Ibrahim’s feed and first reported this week by the Weekly Standard notes the suicide bombing in Burgas that day that killed five Israeli tourists and a bus driver: “An explosion on a truck transporting Israelis at the airport of Burgas, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea,” it says. “Oh Wowwww this eases off the day today very nice very nice news.”
In August, an Ibrahim tweet disseminated Hitler’s notorious quote claiming that “no crime, no act against morality” lacks the hands of the Jews in it.
Another August tweet describes the Saudi royals as “dirtier than the Jews.” When an interlocutor, apparently known to Ibrahim, chides her for attacking a religion and advises her to use “Zionists” or “Israelis” instead, a response from Ibrahim’s feed accepts the reprimand, with an endearment.
The State Dept. decided late yesterday to hold off on honoring Ibrahim. Not sorry.