A small group of social media trolls are trying to pin last week’s accidental fire onboard a U.S. Navy ship on sabotage by “black separatists” within the U.S. military. One their key pieces of bogus evidence: a fake letter purporting to come from a possible Biden vice presidential pick. The trolls forged letterhead from Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s office in order to falsely claim that the senator is concerned about the nonexistent threat of an insider attack and wants the Pentagon to investigate.
Duckworth’s campaign quickly reported the fakes to law enforcement and Twitter has since suspended the offending accounts. But the hoax artists behind the effort left a longer trail of fake news behind them. They’ve impersonated a reporter and an Israeli politician, forged phony screenshots about a fake coup plot in Iraq, and spoofed real news outlets with copycat websites. So what’s behind the disinformation campaign?