A leading Islamist preacher in the UK has been left red-faced after his details were included on a batch of leaked user IDs from the Ashley Madison website.
Private details of 33 million users of the site, which encourages people to cheat on their partners by matching adulterers anonymously, were stolen by hackers, who have subsequently begun publishing the details online.
Among a batch of details leaked last week was one Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, a notorious hate-preacher who has declared that those who leave the Islamic faith "should be killed," and has repeatedly called for the establishment of a "global Caliphate" along the lines of the one currently run by the ISIS terrorist group.
He has been linked to a number of extremist organizations, including the radical Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamist group – which seeks to establish a global Islamic state – for whom he has regularly featured as a speaker.
The Greek convert to Islam also once served as a trustee of Green Crescent, "a British charity placed under investigation by the Charity Commission for links with Islamist terrorism," according to the Stand For Peace counter-extremism group.
Tzorzis "resigned his trusteeship after Green Crescent’s head, Faisal Mostafa, was arrested and charged with terrorism offences in Bangladesh following the discovery of arms caches at a school run by the charity."
He has also advocated on behalf of terrorists jailed in Guantanamo bay, and in a public speech stated that "We as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom."
Apparently, however, he does feel free to cheat on his wife.
Along with various personal details, the leak revealed he had been registered on the site for nine months.
In an attempt to control the damage to his image as a pious Muslim, Tzorzis took to Facebook and claimed he had never accessed the site and was the victim of an elaborate conspiracy.
It has come to my attention that my details are on the Ashley Madison data leak. This includes my name, address, and bank card details.
This is an obvious case of fraud. My email address (this website doesn't verify emails, and all the relevant emails went to junk) can be found online and so can my address, as it is linked to my business account, which is registered online. My date of birth is known from either previous lectures or Facebook. These types of online attacks are not uncommon, for example in the past year there have been multiple attempts to access my emails.
But several of his 92,000 followers were unconvinced, noting that based on the records released the "hacker" would have had to spend a considerable amount of money to "register" him, and follow Tzorzis to Australia and various other countries where he admits he was at the time someone logged into his account from those locations.
Covering all his bases, he added that it might be "permitted" to use the site to cheat on his wife anyway.
My whereabouts and activities, both private and public are traceable and recorded, and there is without any doubt that I have not pursued such immoral acts that the site promotes (this includes permissible acts, for instance the endeavour to find another halal wife [who can also be a non-Muslim] who wanted to be with a married man, which is allowed in Islam). My face is recorded when I enter and leave work, and the gym (the main places I go to). My social and professional meetings are public, and with people that can honestly confirm my presence.
He also claimed to have filed a police report, but provided no further details.