FACT CHECK: No, Sky News Did Not Make A Post Referring To Sydney Mall Attacker As Islamic Terrorist

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A photo shared on Facebook appears to show posts from Sky News about the recent attack on a shopping mall in Sydney, Australia, referring to the perpetrator as a “Radical Islamic Jihadi Muslim Terrorist.” 

Verdict: False

These posts cannot be found on the official Sky News account. Additionally, there is no evidence that the suspect was motivated by terrorism.

Fact Check:

Australian police revealed that the suspect who fatally stabbed six people at a shopping mall in Sydney may have been intentionally targeting women, according to CNN. Five out of six people who died were women, and an additional 12 people were injured in the attack, the outlet reported.

A Facebook post allegedly shows Sky News X posts referring to the Sydney attack as a terrorist. The first alleged post shows it received over 40k views.

The first alleged post, supposedly published when the suspect was unidentified, reads, “BREAKING: Shots Fired In Public Area; Suspected Radical Islamic Jihadi Muslim Terrorist Attack Underway.” A second alleged Sky News post, purportedly published after the suspect was identified, reads, “Tragic Incident: Mentally Ill Man Accidentally Causes Multiple Fatalities In Public Shooting.”

“How the media brainwash people and cause hatred amongst communities,” the post’s caption reads. (RELATED: Is An Islamist Terrorist Responsible For A Recent Attack At A Sydney Mall?)

These are not genuine Sky News posts, however. A keyword search for the words used in the alleged posts yields no matching results on Sky News’ verified X account. 

Nick Sutton, head of digital output at Sky News, made an X post replying to the digitally fabricated screenshots. “Hi. I’m not sure where you got these screenshots from,” it reads. “But they are not genuine Sky News tweets about the Sydney attack.” Sutton included a screenshot of tweets Sky News sent the previous day to corroborate.

Check Your Fact recently debunked the claim that the suspect was an “Islamic terrorist.” The perpetrator, 40-year-old Joel Cauchi suffered from unspecified mental health issues, but investigators are not treating the attack as terrorism related, according to AP News.

Check Your Fact reached out to a Sky News spokesperson for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received. 

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter