A new entry in a blog purportedly by a lesbian
Syrian-American living in Damascus asserted that the entire
saga was a hoax, supposedly written by a man.
The post, which came days after an entry saying the blogger
had been arrested, was signed by "Tom MacMaster" in Istanbul,
In it, the author says the narrative was fictional but
insists it "created an important voice for issues I feel
It says the author never expected so much attention.
On Tuesday, a blog post at the same site supposedly written
by the woman's cousin said she had been detained in Damascus
after weeks on the run. The story unravelled quickly after a
woman in Britain said the photos on the Facebook account of
the blogger known as Amina Arraf were actually of her. The
Associated Press reported her disappearance, confirmed by an
activist in Damascus, but reporters in Virginia then could
find no trace of Arraf or her family.
The author of the blog post on Sunday titled it "Apology to
readers" but wrote "I do not believe that I have harmed
anyone." There was no listing for MacMaster in Istanbul.
In the post purportedly by Arraf's cousin, Rania Ismail, it
said Arraf was last seen on Monday being bundled into a car
by three men in civilian clothes as she was on her way to
meet someone at the activist Local Coordination Committees.
Ismail said a friend accompanying her was nearby and saw what
A reporter for The Associated Press, who maintained a
monthlong email correspondence with someone claiming to be
Arraf, found the writer seemed very much like a woman in the
midst of the violent change gripping Syria. The writer spoke
about friends in Damascus, and outlined worries about her
father and hopes for the future of her country.
In the emails, the person acknowledged fudging some details
of escaping from Syrian security officials to protect herself
and her family, and painted a harrowing picture of fleeing
Jelena Lecic, the woman whose photos were linked to Arraf's
Facebook profile, said the London woman first learned her
likeness was being used when it was linked to article about
Arraf in the Guardian newspaper, her spokesman has said.
The spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for
comment on Sunday.