Yahya Ababneh, source of a report which alleged that Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan was responsible for the chemical weapons attack outside Damascus on August 21, now appears to be a fraud operating under multiple names using a fake work history and comes from Russia.
Brian Whitaker writes: According to Ababneh’s profile on LinkedIn, the professional networking website, he has carried out journalistic assignments “in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Libya for clients such as al-Jazeera, al-Quds al-Arabi, Amman Net, and other publications”.
So far, though, no evidence has emerged to support this claim and internet searches in English and Arabic for articles that carry his byline have drawn a blank.
To add to this mystery, Ababneh’s profile was deleted from LinkedIn yesterday, though a cached copy can be found here.
One thing that doesn’t show up in the cache is the endorsements given to Ababneh by other LinkedIn users. On the deleted page, he had received endorsements for his skills from two people – Ghazal Omid of the Iran Future organisation and Sufian Ababneh, a legal adviser at the Jordanian embassy in London. Among other things, Sufian Ababneh had endorsed him for his skills as an actor.
— Anita McNaught (@anitamcnaught) September 21, 2013
— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) September 22, 2013