05:15 GMT +324 March 2017
    Syrian Bana al-Abed is filmed by her mother as they prepare to post on Twitter in English about life in the besieged eastern districts of Syria's Aleppo, on October 12, 2016.

    Aleppo Twitter Girl Bana Is the 'Ultimate Propaganda Stunt' - Syrian Activist

    © AFP 2017/ Thaer Mohammed
    Middle East
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    A Syrian activist Maytham Al Ashkar contacted the 7-year-old Twitter star, Bana Alabed, on November 27, offering to evacuate her family from eastern Aleppo. After a month, someone who identified herself as Bana's mother responded. "What happened after, convinced me that Bana's account is the ultimate propaganda stunt," Maytham told Sputnik.

    Bana's account, designated by Twitter as "verified", was set up three months ago, and has since gathered over 310,000 followers. The tweets, written by both Bana and her mother, Fatemah, who says she taught her daughter to speak English, depict life under siege in east Aleppo.

    Many have called the authenticity of the account into question, pointing to videos where Bana appears to be reading from a prompt. It is also unclear whether Bana's posts are genuine, since any user, anywhere in the world can post from the account, as long as they have the password.  

    Due to extensive media coverage, Bana became a sort of Syrian war icon and was even called "Aleppo's Anne Frank."

    Pro-government activist Maytham Al Ashkar is originally from Al-Zahraa in northern Syria, currently in Beirut, but often travelling to Damascus and Aleppo. He offered to help evacuate Bana and her family, contacting Bana's Twitter account on November 27. 

    "At the end of the day you are civilians. You are our people. We care for you," Maytham said in his message.

    On December 12, Maytham was contacted by a Twitter user in Arabic, who asked him if the offer to help Bana's family still stands. Once Maytham confirmed his proposal, the user told Maytham he would next be contacted by Bana herself.

    "This person was contacted by Bana, who told him she wanted my offer. Once he got my approval, Bana (the account) contacted me directly," Maytham explains. 

    "When I got contacted by Bana's account, I started to chat in Arabic since we are all Syrians and Arabic is our mother tongue. However, it was obvious that the person behind the account preferred English as a language of communication."

    Twitter conversation between Maytham Al Ashkar and al-Abed's account
    © Photo: Maytham Al Ashkar
    Twitter conversation between Maytham Al Ashkar and al-Abed's account

    According to media reports, Bana's father, Ghassan works for the "legal department of the local council" and her mother, Fatemah, is a teacher. 

    However, it seems lack of Arabic on the part of Bana's mother is just as unlikely as Bana's flawless English.

    "According to the media, Bana's mother studied law. This means that she has studied the Syrian curriculum for 12 years, which is all in Arabic, plus 4 years at university, where all the subjects are taught in Arabic," Maytham told Sputnik. 

    Maytham got hold of the city authorities and the Syrian Army to facilitate Bana's evacuation from Aleppo. 

    "Everything was set for their [Bana's family] evacuation, and the governor of Aleppo was following up with me personally," Maytham told Sputnik.

    Twitter conversation between Maytham Al Ashkar and al-Abed's account
    © Photo: Maytham Al Ashkar
    Twitter conversation between Maytham Al Ashkar and al-Abed's account
    Twitter conversation between Maytham Al Ashkar and al-Abed's account
    © Photo: Maytham Al Ashkar
    Twitter conversation between Maytham Al Ashkar and al-Abed's account

    Twitter conversation between Maytham Al Ashkar and al-Abed's account
    © Photo: Maytham Al Ashkar
    Twitter conversation between Maytham Al Ashkar and al-Abed's account
    Twitter conversation between Maytham Al Ashkar and al-Abed's account
    © Photo: Maytham Al Ashkar
    Twitter conversation between Maytham Al Ashkar and al-Abed's account

    "The Syrian authorities even agreed to settle the legal status of the father who happens to be a member of al-Safwa Islamic Brigade. The Syrian authorities too agreed to evacuate them from eastern Aleppo to any destination of their choice even out of Syria."

    "I even invited all the media to contact me or the governor so the made could cover the evacuation which is an excellent guarantee to ensure that no one will hurt her."

    In the end, having complained that Maytham was "rushing" her, Bana refused the offer.

    "The one who contacted me via that account was not scared," said Maytham.

    Who is Behind Bana's Account?

    "There is no such a thing as Bana's tweets. The girl is just a face, a tool used by the British intelligence, and I am saying British, because of the strong relationship between the Bana's account and the White Helmets, who are funded and sponsored by the UK," Maytham argues. 

    "I believe that the girl was in Aleppo, but not anymore. Her role was to take same photos and videos, and once that was done she left."

    Another question is why would Bana's account approach a pro-government activist?

    "I believe that this account approached me to prove me as a liar. They thought that I was not serious, so they wanted to present me as a "regime propagandist" liar. I tweeted my offer to Bana a month ago and may be they wanted to drag me into threatening them or saying something inappropriate to be used against the Syrian authorities".

    "To their surprise, I was not lying. I genuinely tried to help a child who is being used and abused, and the Syrian authorities were more than cooperative!" Maytham concludes.


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    • sapper
      Glad to know that the internet works under very trying circumstances and that the Syrian family in question can speak perfect English but hardly any Arabic!! Stuff of fairy tales!!
    • avatar
      People need to also remember that the US and EU are currently very "progressive" while all of this is happening. This isn't some "far-right" force doing all of the within the West.
    • Ngô Tiến Đạt
      Oops, busted. Shameful.
    • arpito
      a fake Just like Anne Frank was
    • avatar
      slimyfoxin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, Let me just remember you that person, group, organisation, party or even state is/are not that what they proclaim to be but that they are judged by what they do. In other words perfect example is German Nazi party which declared its name as: National Socialist German Workers' Party which was purposely made to sound as left party only to attract workers and all other underprivileged people in reality it was extreme right because principles which are defining left are described in workers Internationale and in all Marxist theories. They are absolutely opposite to what you think that they are. Same as today Russia is guilty party for all bad on the planet and whole west or at least politicians and MSM are firm believer that this is the case. We know better than that, don't we?

      USA has no real left party as according to historical political science studies left parties are workers parties and right leaning are pro establishment and pro capital. As we know Democrats in US are pro capital and pro establishment and GOP are opposite are for blue collars (workers) and so one. USA as always are something exceptional and confusing, beside that this is due to McCarthyism in the past when all that was labeled as left was attached to devil's work. Therefore your assumption and labeling of the left is fundamentally wrong. If you want to learn more about real left not that fake Democrat BS than you will have to look back in time and read something from Klara Zetkin, Karl Marx, Friderich Engels and so on but I doubt that you will ever do. I never checked what is written in Wikipedia but I do not believe that it is much correct as the stigma created by opponents is too powerful as you as well fallen under the false presentation.
    • avatar
      Pierced ears in two places?
    • Mikhas
      It is also said that the girl has better wifi connection than anybody else in war torn
    • avatar
      It's an old, but effective, propaganda trick. It started with "Anne Frank". And it was done in Bosnia too. The use of "fake news" by the MSM during the Yugoslav wars was on a level never seen in moden history. And now in Syria too. There are many similarities between Bosnia and Syria. Americans arming and supporting Muslim terrorists in order to destroy a country that they do not control, but seek to control....complete and utter demonization of government and army defending itself from their mercenary/terrorist hordes, and the list goes on and on. Exact same playbook as Bosnia 21 years ago. I'm not surprised at all to see this version of Anne Frank. Utterly predictable. Know thy enemy has never been so true.
    • landauroj
      This girl that comes from a happy family of terrorist parents and most possible in the payroll of the USA, is been used for the scum of parents (the father because the mother does not have any rights). The Terrorist have used all the technology that nowadays can be used (almost free) to produce fake news.
    • avatar
      find and arrest her now.... go to Uk and get them!
    • avatar
      slimyfox....this is amazing I have fought tooth and nail with you for other a year its been an outstanding and intriguing battle.
      Yet i have giving you a thumbs up as you are absolutely correct...what you explained very well you did not complete in so much as that its been a deliberate and highly calculated fraud and the media deception of the century in the twisting of left to right and right to left.
    • avatar
      FYI: The 'metadata' find is actually false: the guy who posted it said so himself: twitter.com/Prira_/status/808603866304577536. It selects the metadata country where *you* reside.

      Everything else is interesting, thanks for the post.
    • Drain the swampin reply toarpito(Show commentHide comment)
      arpito, even that pic of bana is like an ann frank pic, theres gotta be a US military intelligence "advisor" behind this dumb ayrab matham headchopper !
    • avatar
      I swear, in the past 48 hours BBC made a special from Turkey with red carpet. This girl looks like THAT girl. She was singing . And well she said a real lot. She came from ALEPPO.

      They had a DRAMA about the bombs. SPUTNIK should investigate and publish it.
    • Jonathan Ferguson
      Even if the tweets are hers, she has no will of her own. she's being abused by grown-ups.
    • Jonathan Fergusonin reply toarpito(Show commentHide comment)
      arpito, Delete your account.
    • Jonathan Fergusonin reply toDrPolitiko(Show commentHide comment)
      DrPolitiko, What?!
    • arpito
      all i know is that the girl on the picture is obviously acting
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