COVENTRY, England (AP) -- He's practically a one man band, but Rami Abdurrahman's influence extends far beyond his modest home in this small English city.
The bald, bespectacled 42-year-old operates the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights from his house in the cathedral city of Coventry - and a review of recent media coverage suggests its running tally of killings and clashes is the most frequently cited individual source of information on Syria's civil war for the world's leading news organizations.
"He's just everywhere," said Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. "He's the go-to guy for figures. ... I can't think of anybody who comes close."
Abdurrahman, who says he makes his living from a local clothing shop, says the Observatory relies on four unnamed activists in Syria and a wider network of monitors across the country to document and verify clashes and killings. But as the Observatory has increasingly found itself at the center of Western reporting on Syria's civil, some say his figures - and his sources - need more scrutiny.
Opponents say Abdurrahman is in cahoots with the opposition forces bankrolled by Gulf Arab states, skewing casualty figures to keep the spotlight off rebel atrocities. Others contend that Abdurrahman is in league with the Syrian regime. They accuse him of overplaying incidents of sectarian violence to blacken the reputation of those trying to topple President Bashar Assad.
Abdurrahman sees the competing allegations as evidence that's he's being fair; "You know you're doing a good job when all the sides start to attack you," he said in a recent interview.
Still, one prominent critic says it boggles the mind that a man living in Coventry is somehow able to count and categorize the dead in Syria hour by hour, every day of the week.
"Something is going on which is quite fishy," said As'ad AbuKhalil, a professor of Middle Eastern politics at California State University Stanislaus.
Abdurrahman was working on four hours' sleep when he met The Associated Press at Coventry's drab-looking train station earlier this month.
He'd planned to get to bed by 10 p.m. the previous night, but rebel infighting in the Syrian border town of Azaz meant he stayed up until 2 a.m. monitoring developments. He got up again at 6 a.m. to check for overnight updates.
"It's not a nine-to-five job," Rami said as he drove across the city, a white dove-shaped air freshener dangling from his rear-view mirror.
By his own account, Abdurrahman operates as a kind of human switchboard, fielding calls round-the-clock from Syrian activists, international journalists, and human rights workers. Particularly intense news days had seen up to 500 calls, he said.
Suspicions have long dogged Abdurrahman. Is the self-exiled Syrian really who he says he is? Who's behind his organization? And is he accurate enough to justify the world's reliance on his reporting?
Switching from English to Arabic and often speaking through a translator, Abdurrahman - whose real name is Ossama Suleiman - defended his decision to use a pseudonym as part of the Arab tradition of the nom de guerre.
He said he received money from a European human rights group, but declined to name it. Only after prodding did he say he had been receiving less than 100,000 euros ($137,000) a year since 2012 in support of his work.