A Sikh man falsely accused of being involved in the Paris attacks last year has now been blamed for Thursday’s terror attack in Nice, that left at least 84 people dead.
A picture of Canadian Veerender Jubbal was circulated on Twitter in the days after the November 13 attacks in Paris that left 130 dead, a situation further magnified after it was printed by some international media outlets.
A selfie the freelance writer and games critic had taken with his iPad three months before the Paris attacks was photoshopped to look like he was wearing a suicide bomb vest.
His iPad was also doctored to look like the Qu’ran and captions on the picture said he was one of the Islamic State attackers involved in the massacre.
Through the Sikh Coalition, Jubbal issued a statement about the doctored image after being falsely blamed the first time. He called the act “despicable” and said it was “deeply disturbing”.
Jubbal said he believed he may have been targeted by supporters of Gamergate because he had was outspoken in condemning the online movement.
On Friday, after the attacks in Nice, the image again began circulating and also made its way into at least one international publication. The terrorist was later named as Tunisian-born Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, from Nice.
Savvy social media users were quick to debunk reports that Jubbal was involved on Friday.
A friend of his, Simran Jeet Singh, later asked Twitter users to “help end rumors” as it was “not a joke” and his “life has never been the same”.
Singh, who is a Senior Religion Fellow at the Sikh Coalition, told BuzzFeed News that people sharing the photo are “fear-mongering” and putting the lives of innocent people at risk”.
Jubbal left social media after the Paris attacks.
Earlier this month he wrote a piece for the Guardian on being falsely accused of being involved in the Paris attacks.
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