Far right threatens Scots lawyer who witnessed terror attack
HUMAN RIGHTS lawyer Aamer Anwar has been bombarded by hate mail from far-right Twitter trolls after he was caught up in the terrorist attacks in Barcelona.
The University of Glasgow rector, who was in the Spanish city for a conference, was widely interviewed in the media after he saw the van career into pedestrians. He told reporters he would have been hit had it happened 10 seconds earlier.
On Twitter, former leader of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, described Anwar as a “lawyer for Isis terrorist Aqsa Mahmood”, while Anwar’s appearance on television prompted a stream of abuse from extremists.
Anwar represented Mahmood’s family after she travelled from Glasgow to Syria in 2013 to marry. Last year, Anwar received death threats when he called for unity in the Muslim community following the killing of Asad Shah, the Glasgow shopkeeper murdered by Tanveer Ahmed for allegedly “disrespecting” Islam.
On Friday, Anwar posted a collation of dozens of abusive tweets about him following the Barcelona terror attack.
He said: “This is just some of the hate I’ve read today following the Barcelona attack and my calling it an attack on a sea of humanity.”
Last night, they were still coming in. Among the messages was a tweet, accompanied by a graphic of a bomb by @steven saying “u know, he ought to be worried as he’d be a rly gd [really good] target for any new vigilante group”. Another @allahbinbag wrote: “Shame he didn’t get hit by the van.” User @buckeye66669 added: “Too
damned bad. Would have been poetic justice.” And @leecaseys said: “Shame not ten seconds earlier.”
Other online trolls suggested Anwar was “there to watch”, “knew it was coming” and “was one of them”. User @1968Tosh tweeted the lawyer to say: “Perhaps you can find the driver and represent him.” Another user @MrJaxDemon added: “More clients for him then.” User @ bamafanskd said: “Authorities should question him. He could have been scouting the locale for them.” Another Twitter user @corker1970 referred to Anwar as an “ISIS lawyer”.
Anwar said: “I wouldn’t normally respond to rightwing extremism but I was in the thick of it in Barcelona and I was horrified so, on this occasion, I am calling it out because I’ve had enough. “I am still in shock after what happened. When you see comments that wish I died or that I was involved it leaves me even more shaken. In the context of the terrorist attack it’s just sickening that these people can laugh and make jokes. “The woman saw screaming for her children, whose voice I can’t get out of my head, was wearing a hijab. Every race, creed and colour was represented that day.”
Aamer Anwar was singled out on Twitter by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson, inset