By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press
Dean Obeidallah, a comedian and Daily Beast columnist who hosts a SiriusXM Radio show, sued The Daily Stormer’s publisher, Andrew Anglin, in Ohio.
The suit says the site fabricated messages purportedly sent from Obeidallah’s Twitter account to trick readers into believing he took responsibility for the May 22 terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Obeidallah told The Associated Press that he received death threats after the article’s publication on June 1.
“It was literally jaw-dropping,” he said. “The death threats were something I’ve never seen before in my life.”
A lawyer for Obeidallah said The Daily Stormer hasn’t responded to their request to remove the article. Obeidallah is represented by Muslim Advocates, a national legal and educational organization based in Oakland, California.
“Their goal was clearly to marginalize my voice,” said Obeidallah, 47, a resident of New York City.
The suit comes at a tumultuous time for The Daily Stormer, which already faced a federal lawsuit filed by another target of one of its online trolling campaigns.
Access to the site has been sporadic since Google canceled the site’s domain name registration on Monday. The cancellation followed Anglin’s publication of a post mocking the 32-year-old woman killed in a deadly attack at a white nationalist rally in Virginia over the weekend. His article called Heather Heyer “fat” and “childless” and said “most people are glad she is dead, as she is the definition of uselessness.”
The site had moved its registration to Google after GoDaddy tweeted late Sunday night that it had given The Daily Stormer 24 hours to move its domain to another provider.
Anglin’s site takes its name from Der Stürmer, a newspaper that published Nazi propaganda. The site includes sections called “Jewish Problem” and “Race War.”
In April, a Montana woman sued Anglin for orchestrating an anti-Semitic trolling campaign against her family. Tanya Gersh’s suit claims anonymous internet trolls bombarded Gersh’s family with hateful and threatening messages after Anglin published their personal information in a post accusing her and other Jewish residents of Whitefish, Montana, of engaging in an “extortion racket” against the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer.
Gersh is represented by attorneys from the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups. In July, the law center’s lawyers claimed Anglin was “actively concealing his whereabouts” and hadn’t been served with Gersh’s suit. They said they looked for him at four addresses in Franklin County, Ohio, for which he apparently has a connection.