Latest from Brian Whitaker
A Notorious Syria Conspiracy Theory Is Definitively Debunked
Amid persistent claims that a 2018 gas attack on Syria's Douma was faked by rebels, a new report from the global chemical weapons watchdog shows not only that the Assad regime was responsible but that none of the alternative claims is viable.
Friends in Strange Places
Anti-vax campaigners, 9/11 truthers and the defenders of a Middle Eastern dictatorship might seem unlikely partners, but whatever their differences, they are all in the business of promoting fringe views that challenge “mainstream” narratives.
Unaccountable in Lebanon: How a PM’s Killers Got Away With It
The investigation into the killing of “Mr Lebanon” was meant to take three months. It took 17 years and cost a billion dollars. Now as the UN-led effort finally comes to an end, what justice has been achieved?
The Saudi Billionaire Who Sought to Join Britain’s Aristocracy
Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz's climb up the British social ladder began a decade ago with the purchase of a centuries-old Scottish feudal title that meant he could be legally known as the Baron of Abernethy. The title itself had no real significance, but it may explain why he is referred to as “Lord” Mahfouz on his family company’s website.
The ‘Echo Chamber’ of Syrian Chemical Weapons Conspiracy Theorists
The real issue here is not so much the denial of chemical attacks as the way it serves as a vehicle for normalizing conspiracy theories under the guise of critical thinking. Admirable though it is to view news reports and government statements with caution and scrutinize the evidence, the denial campaign was something else, encouraging people to reject information at will simply because it didn't fit their view of how the world works.