Tom MacMaster, the US graduate student behind the Gay Girl in Damascus blog hoax, has been accused of creating another fake Arab female online identity to defend his own reputation online.
A comment on the website Mondoweiss under the name "Miriam Umm Ibni", mounting a spirited defence of MacMaster's conduct in posing as "Amina", a lesbian Syrian woman, was traced by fellow users to the same IP address in Edinburgh that he used for the Amina hoax.
The Guardian has seen screengrabs of the IP data, emailed by one of the site's hosts Adam Horowitz, that show the post originated from the address 126.96.36.199.
Journalists, bloggers and web users unmasked MacMaster earlier this month as the unlikely hoaxer behind the Amina blog, in part after its posts were traced to the address.
In an email, later posted on the site, MacMaster acknowledged that "Miriam Umm Ibni" was a fake identity, but denied being behind it, saying a "friend of mine who would really like to remain nameless" had posted the comment in his defence. It came from the same IP address because she had been staying with his wife and him, he wrote.
"Like many of my friends, many of whom are committed pro-Palestinian, anti-war and anti-colonialist activists, she was outraged by some of the slanders made against me online. And, like many of my friends, she's been urged by me to defend me. She did so. She's that kind of person."...That description tells you all you need to know about these clueless, amoral, self-righteous creeps.