Dean Obeidallah, Muslim-American comedian, wins libel suit against publisher of neo-Nazi website

September 17, 2018 GMT

Muslim-American radio host and liberal comedian Dean Obeidallah has won a libel suit against Andrew Anglin, the elusive publisher of The Daily Stormer neo-Nazi website.

A federal court clerk issued a judgement Tuesday against Mr. Anglin, a 33-year-old Ohio native, after he went nearly a year without pleading or otherwise formally acknowledging a lawsuit filed in response to an article he published on The Daily Stormer linking Mr. Obeidallah, 48, to a May 2017 terrorist attack in Manchester, England.

Published weeks after the attack killed 23 people and injured hundreds more, the article falsely claimed that Mr. Obeidallah is an Islamic State terrorist and the “mastermind” of the Manchester bombing, citing a series of fabricated social media posts purportedly sent from the comedian’s Twitter account.

Mr. Obeidallah received death threats as a result of the article, according to his attorneys, and he subsequently sued for defamation last summer in federal court in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Anglin never responded to the lawsuit, however, and repeated efforts to serve him with a summons proved unsuccessful, ultimately resulting in this week’s ruling.

“It appears that the Defendant Andrew B. Anglin, is in default, having failed to plead or otherwise defend in this case as required by law,” wrote Richard Nagel, a clerk for U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Ohio.

A hearing is expected to bescheduled at a later date to determine what damages if any to award Mr. Obeidallah, Cleveland.com first reported.

“Happy to say we got a judgment versus the Nazis at The Daily Stormer for defaming me and inciting death threats. These ‘Fine people’ will never silence us!!” Mr. Obeidallah said through his Twitter account Tuesday. “On behalf of every other Muslim, every African-American or Jew they demonized, none of us are going to be silent,” he tweeted.

Mr. Anglin did not return an email seeking comment. Attorneys for Mr. Obeidallah wrote in court documents that they tried reaching him at five different addresses and through multiple attorneys who have represented him in separate matters.

The Daily Stormer was launched by Mr. Anglin in 2013, and the website gained notoriety last summer after its publisher penned an article mocking a woman who was killed while protesting a white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia. Internet registrars including GoDaddy and Google refused to do business with The Daily Stormer afterwards, and the website was briefly relegated to the dark web as a result.

Mr. Anglin previously described both The Daily Stormer and his internet persona as “performance art.”