Author Naomi Wolf has been accused of being 'disrespectful' after suggesting footage of hostages being beheaded by ISIS militants isn't real.
The 51-year-old American writer made a series of controversial statements questioning the authenticity of the footage in a number of messages on her Facebook page.
The initial post in which the feminist activist questions where the terror group are 'getting all these folks from' was deleted.
In another post, she also said that the Obama administration was sending troops to West Africa to confront the Ebola outbreak so they could return with the deadly infection - justifying a military takeover of Africa.
Social media users quickly rounded on her with some suggesting her theories were 'crazy' while others said her views were 'harmful' and had disrespected the victims' families.
A video released on Friday appeared to show British hostage Alan Henning being beheaded by Jihadi John.
He is the fourth person to have been brutally murdered at the hands of the
extremists, and a fifth, former Army ranger Peter Kaggis, has been
threatened as the next victim.
After making the controversial statements over the weekend, Wolf defended her actions saying she was criticizing the reporting of the story - suggesting the video had not
been properly confirmed by two sources.
The post, that was later taken down, said: 'OK two of the hostages just happened to go from longcareers into the military to... sudden humanitarian work (same was true of the latest British hostage). Where are they getting all these folks from?
'If someone is abducted there is a record with Amnesty and
with Reporters without Borders. Can someone please confirm that these
organizations have any record of this person having been abducted?
'The NYT (New York Times) yesterday ran a depressingly sloppy editorial claiming that all the ISIS beheading videos must be real because 'there are so many of them on youtube'.
'THAT's journalism? They also called ISIS 'evil' many times - which is not langauge of a news analysis, it is a theological category for some faiths and a Global War on Terror talking point... this may all be true but it takes five people to stage an event like this - two to be 'parents' - two to pose for the cameras... one in a ninja outfit... and one to contact the media that does not bother checking who ANY of these four other people are...'
During the social media backlash, Mark Boothroyd said: 'Don't insult these people who have given their lives for humanitarian work.
'The activities of all these people have been well documented over the years.
They are known people with families and friends who have supported
them. Stop spreading conspiracy theories.'
And Matt Hill added: 'A minimal amount of research would show you you're wrong – there's plenty of information out there about the hostages.'
noticing some of the responses, she took to her Facebook page again and wrote: 'I stand by what I wrote today: the videos of beheadings need to be independently confirmed before they are part of the historical record. They may well be completely accurate but there are not yet independent confirmations that they are accurate.'
Another post said: 'A commentator below self-identified as being the New York Times reporter covering the hostage crisis. This reporter asked me to take my post about asking for confirmation of the hostage story down, as this reporter said that keeping it up is "irresponsible" and not respectful
to the pain of the families involved.
'Once again to clarify. The reason I ask that media check and confirm a story like the series ofvideotaped beheadings of aid workers and journalists is that that is what journalists are supposed to do. It is sad and baffling to me that my post below reminding journalists to get two sources confirming information before they run stories repeating government talking points,
is being interpreted as "a conspiracy theory".'
She also condemned President Obama's decision to send troops to Western Africa to
help combat the Ebola outbreak, suggesting the military will bring it back to the United States.
She said: 'And...TV news in US reporting Department of Defense is sending three thousand troops to Liberia..troops with no medical expertise..to construct and run field hospitals for Ebola....then they will be quarantined for 21 days...and
eventually come home.
crazy idea as Liberia and Sierra Leone already have a dense
infrastructure if medical aid organizations on the ground...many Western
ones...that already have doctors nurses and well tested medical
education networks that were activated to educate people about AIDs. I
was in Freetown and witnessed this.
'What they don't have is
enough doctors or supplies. They need the CDC not the Pentagon. So why
send soldiers with no medical background?
'A. Militarized Africa
has long been on the agenda but B. Three thousand Ebola-exposed American
troops creates a direct vector into the US and whatever happens a
narrative can exist to justify military condoning of US
populations...quarantining Americans...emergency measures to limit
travel...crisis best left to military not civil authorities.
in Liberia and Sierra Leone know perfectly well how to build more
buildings for more beds..these are modern societies...they just need
money. There is no practical reason to put our soldiers in the eye if
ebola. That is why I dont (sic) like this narrative.'