A Sikh man has been wrongly accused of being responsible for last night’s terror attack in Nice, in which at least 84 people were killed.
Twitter users circulated photos of Veerender Jubbal, saying he was a ‘French Muslim… reportedly involved in Nice terror attacks’.
A lorry packed with firearms and explosives drove through a crowd of people on the Promenade des Anglais, who were out celebrating Bastille Day.
And while the world comes to terms with another horrific terror attack, and mourns for those whose lives were lost, someone has taken advantage of the globe’s sadness to smear an innocent person.
Veerender is a Canadian journalist who was not in France during the time of the attack – and the image being posted of him is heavily photoshopped.
In his original photo, Jubbal is taking a selfie in his bathroom mirror using an iPad. In the version circulated online, his iPad has been changed into a Koran, and a bomb vest has been doctored onto him.
This is not the first time this maliciously edited photo has gone viral.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, Veerender’s photo was circulated so widely that it was mistakenly used in Spanish news reports of the attacks.
The photo was originally doctored by ‘Gamergate’ supporters – a group within the gaming community dedicated to harassing what it calls ‘social justice warriors’ online. Veerender is a prominent critic of Gamergate.
Now, Simran Jeet Singh has taken to Twitter to clarify that Veerender was not at all involved.
People are wrongly identifying my Sikh friend as being responsible for the #Nice attack,’ he said. ‘Please help end the rumours.’
The real attacker behind the horrific events in Nice was shot dead by police last night.
He had driven a lorry through crowds of people for around 2km, swerving from side to side rapidly.
The driver has not yet been identified as belonging to any particular terror group. He was already known to police, but not for terrorism offences.
Bastille Day marks the start of the revolution in 1789, when a prison of the same name was stormed by protesters fighting against the autocratic rule of King Louis XVI.
Speaking after the attack, President Francois Hollande said the incident was of ‘an undeniable terrorist nature’.
‘France is badly hit,’ he said. ‘All of France is under the threat of Islamic terrorism.’