A hero was born on social media after the Paris attacks this week-end with many tweeting a Wall Street Journal article mentioning the hero. When it came to finding a hero, the WSJ actually only quoted a source.
The new hero of the Paris attacks is named Zouheir. According to a story that was retweeted more than 30 000 times, Zouheir is a muslim security guard who blocked one of the suicide bomber at the entrance of the Stade de France, where the France-Germany soccer game was taking place on Friday night. As reported by this post, Zouheir saved thousands of people and French president François Hollande.
Another tweet even says Zouheir died blocking the terrorist who detonated his suicide vest when fried at security.
Many on social media were upset at main news channels for not paying tribute or even mentioning the hero. Why are the news outlets being so quiet about this story? Firstly, because Zouheir — who is quoted in this Wall Street Journal article — isn’t dead.
Secondly because, refusing to give his last name, Zouheir is actually only quoted as a source in the newspaper article. Being a security guard, he says he was stationed by the players’ tunnel and not at the stadium entrance. Hence, he did not eywitnessed the suicide bomber being fried by the security guards at the entrance but was told so by colleagues. «Zouheir, who was stationed by the players’ tunnel, said he was briefed on the sequence by the security frisking team at the gate», reports the Wall Street Journal.
How did he become a hero then? The entanglement may come from another WSJ reporter. On Saturday afternoon, Ahmed Al Omran tweeted the WSJ article and was retweeted more than 300 times.
One hour later, he quickly corrected his tweet and was retweeted only 5 times…
Asked by LibéDésintox, Ahmed Al Omran explained he «misread the story and tweeted in rush». He confirmed the Wall Street Journal never mentioned Zouheir as a hero who tried to block the terrorist. Despite Al Omran’s consciencious correction, the rumor has spread quickly about this fantasy hero.