Instagram models falsely identified as Manchester bomber’s sister

Instagram models falsely identified as Manchester bomber’s sister
Two Instagram models have found themselves on the wrong end of fake news after being incorrectly identified by Italian newspapers as the sister of the Manchester Arena suicide bomber.

Pictures of fashion model and blogger Janice Joostema and Lebanese makeup artist Maya Ahmad, who between them have 2.2 million followers, ended up in Italian papers captioned as Jomana Abedi, sister of Salman Abadi, who is responsible for killing 22 people at Ariana Grande’s concert Monday evening and injuring dozens more.

The pictures of the fashionistas appeared in Corriere, which claimed Jomana Abedi had two social profiles, one where she apparently “worships Allah and explains the necessity of wearing the Islamic veil,” and another where she poses wearing branded clothes and bags.

The Italian news and beauty website Milleunadonna reported that other national newspapers, including La Repubblica and La Stampa, also made the allegation before realizing the pictures had nothing to do with Abedi.

It is understood the Italian media - which now appear to have taken their articles down - was misled because Abedi used shots of the Instagram models as her own profile pictures.

Italians have flocked to social media to blast the inaccuracy.

One called the incident a “marvellous fiasco.”

Another claimed the fiasco is the reason why people no longer read the papers in Italy.

“Answer to the question: Why does no one buy newspapers anymore?” he posted. 

“The Corriere always gives us great satisfaction,” another Twitter user sarcastically said.

Internet flooded with fake images

The news comes amid reports of fake images of supposedly missing children taking over the internet.

Pictures of people who were not at the venue and had nothing to do with the attack were posted online and falsely linked to the tragedy.

In one case, a prank tweet was sent out with an appeal to find a missing boy.

“My son was in the Manchester Arena today. He’s not picking up my call! Please help me,” the post said.

The picture of the boy in question, however, is of a YouTuber who later dismissed claims he was missing, saying he is alive and in the United States.

“This unfortunately was an effort done by various trolls and website users, certain website users, just to try and mislead the general public with fake news,” he said, according to the Washington Post.