Saudi Arabia’s crown prince promised Trump help cracking down on protests against police violence. The United Arab Emirates made secret, illegal campaign contributions to the Trump campaign. American chicken McNuggets will give you COVID.
These are just a few of the articles that three “journalists”—Shadia Ben Yousef, Rumaisa Hanaoui, and Ahlam al-Shumayli—have published in dozens of articles since May 2019. But it’s not just the stories that They’re all fake. They’re all based on spoofed websites, forged screenshots, or nonexistent events. And as Facebook announced on Tuesday, a number of them were hyped by trolls based in Iran using fake accounts.
A joint investigation by The Daily Beast and Mandiant Threat intelligence identified dozens of these fake articles published at 35 different Arabic news outlets in a nearly two-year long disinformation spree that pushed pro-Iranian narratives critical of the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia laundered into legitimate news outlets by the fake reporters..
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