Perpetual Terrorist 'Victim' Really Just a Con Artist
But he's not the one putting his own picture up after each terrorist attack
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2016 9:03 AM CDT
France 24 says it knows who the mystery man is.   (Twitter)

(Newser) – He's gone missing in the Istanbul airport attack and the May EgyptAir crash, as well as been named a victim of the Pulse Orlando shooting and as an official who ordered police to shoot at a group of Mexican protesters in June, but who "he" is remains a mystery—sort of. Photos of the man shown have ended up online after a bunch of recent tragedies, including in a New York Times video of the Orlando attack, and back in May, the BBC did a reverse image search to determine his likeness has been circulating since at least December 2015 and that (obviously) he doesn't keep dying or disappearing in terrorist attacks. But France 24 decided to do some further sleuthing to find out who this guy is, and why his picture is everywhere. Going on the BBC's find that social media accounts that initially posted the mystery man's pic after the EgyptAir crash had originated in Mexico, France 24 contacted some of those posters—and they all had a similar tale.

Namely, that the guy was a scam artist of sorts and had cheated them out of amounts up to $1,000. Their revenge: to link his picture with high-profile news events. "He still hasn't given us back our money, [so] we decided to punish him by posting his photo online," one of the parties says. "Our goal is to ruin his reputation. We want the whole world to recognize his face." France 24 says it even managed to track down the actual guy, whose name it's not revealing, and he didn't exactly refute the stories. "My photo is everywhere because of someone who started it as a prank after a legal dispute," he says, adding that he never bothered reporting the joke "because, in Mexico, nothing ever happens in these kinds of cases." He also says he's asked the BBC and Times to dump his photo and never heard back. (His image has since been deleted from the Times video and replaced with text explaining why at the 2:32 mark.)