The Argus newspaper claimed a man was an “ISIS sympathiser who had publicly mourned the death of an ISIS leader.”
But, the man, Alaedeen Sicri, isn’t, so he sued the paper for its May 2017 article. Sicri is Libyan, but was living in England at the time of the story.
Sicri was in the news that month because he was “one of 22 people arrested in connection with the attack [at the Manchester Arena Ariana Grande concert], and later was released without charge,” the UK media site Hold the Front Page reported.
According to a press release from his lawyers at Bindmans, Sicri was arrested because the Manchester bomber, Salma Abedi, had called him a day or two earlier; Sicri’s lawyers said in a statement the call was because Abedi wanted to use Sicri’s business buying products online for people in Libya and exchanging currency. Sicri’s lawyers stated that Sicri told Abedi he couldn’t help him, that Sicri thought Abedi was trying to scam him and that he “had nothing whatever to do with the attack and had no connection or affiliation with the bomber or other terrorists.”
The Argus’s publisher Newsquest admitted its ISIS claim was “wholly false” and paid him a “substantial sum,” Hold the Front Page noted.
iMediaEthics has contacted the Argus to ask how the error occurred; we have also written to Sicri’s lawyers to ask if he is pursuing any legal action against any other news outlets.