From Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid:
Living up to its reputation as the “terror TV” channel, Al-Jazeera has run an “exclusive” story announcing the name of the new al-Qaeda chief replacing Osama bin Laden. He is Saif al-Adel, who is on the FBI’s list of Most Wanted terrorists.
He is wanted for “Conspiracy to Kill United States Nationals, to Murder, to Destroy Buildings and Property of the United States, and to Destroy the National Defense Utilities of the United States.”
Here’s how Reuters news agency reported the news: “Al Qaeda has appointed an Egyptian militant as temporary leader and named a new head of operations following the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. commandos, al Jazeera reported on Wednesday, citing its own correspondent…The channel is seen as having good contacts with militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan and was the main conduit for bin Laden to release messages to the media.” (emphasis added).
Indeed, one of Al-Jazeera’s correspondents was convicted and sentenced to prison in Spain for being an agent of al-Qaeda.
Al-Jazeera has also obtained “exclusive footage” of the Pakistan Taliban vowing revenge for Osama bin Laden’s death, the channel is reporting. The exclusive footage was obtained by Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Islamabad. The Pakistan Taliban works with al-Qaeda.
In another story, “I knew bin Laden,” Al-Jazeera has broadcast “An insight into Osama bin Laden’s life through the eyes of people who knew him and met him.” The story was narrated by Ahmad Zaidan, Al-Jazeera Arabic’s Islamabad correspondent, described by a public television program as “one of the last journalists to interview” bin Laden and “the recipient of several of Osama bin Laden’s communiqués, including an audio recording released in November 2002, in which bin Laden allegedly applauds the recent terrorist attacks in Bali and Yemen.”
Senior Al-Jazeera producer Hassan Ibrahim, who went to school with bin Laden, says al-Qaeda continues to make plans to attack the U.S. on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. “I’ve been following the fundamentalist traffic over the past several weeks, and I noticed something strange,” he says. “They communicate by code. And the code is made up of Koranic verses. The rearrangement of certain verses makes up the letters. I noticed that they are planning something big for this Sept. 11th. I don’t know if the Americans will find anything in the files recovered from bin Laden’s home. My guess is an attack on a nuclear reactor. They want to hit the U.S. big time.”
In the interview, Ibrahim discloses that “…we made a lot of money out of Al Qaeda” by selling bin Laden tapes to other news organizations. “A tape in the old days would sell for US $100,000,” he says. “You get the tape, and then other news organizations wanted to air it as well. So it was selling.”
Meantime, television broadcaster Jerry Kenney, a leading critic of the Qatar-based channel, is blasting Senator John McCain for praising the channel and giving Al-Jazeera an exclusive interview. His open letter to McCain says:
I voted for you in the last Presidential election and I am very, very disappointed that you have chosen to lend your credibility to Al-Jazeera.
It is obvious that you don’t understand that you are being used by a very sophisticated propaganda machine in the same way that Jane Fonda was by the North Vietnamese. No difference, except you haven’t posed sitting on anti-aircraft guns. That would be too obvious.
Freedom House lists the country of Qatar (the owner and operator of Al-Jazeera) as NOT having a free press. Wouldn’t it be better if you took the stance that you will appear on Al-Jazeera when the dictator of Qatar guarantees a free independent press for his own subjects/citizens?
I fear for my country when a national leader with such a distinguished war record exercises such poor judgment.
It seems that you care more about getting on TV anywhere anytime then you do America.
Daytona Beach, FL