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October 23, 2017

The Journalists Bin Laden Could Count On


Osama bin Laden knew which journalists to feed information to when the terror chieftain wanted information disseminated in a manner useful to his aims. The al-Qaeda founder, like his terrorist counterparts in Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), used the media to his advantage, a new book highlights.

In their 2017 book The Exile: The Stunning Inside Story of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in Flight, British journalists Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy interviewed top counterterrorism officials from a variety of governments, as well as Bin Laden associates and members of the terror group.

Among other things, Scott-Clark and Levy note that, from his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Bin Laden plotted in October 2010 on how best to highlight the upcoming anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks perpetrated by al-Qaeda. The author’s state:

“The tenth anniversary of 9/11 was coming and ‘attention should be paid to start preparing for [it] now,’ Osama railed. Al Qaeda needed to ‘benefit from this event’ and present ‘our cause to the world, especially to the European people.’ Atiyah [abd al-Rahman, a top AQ operative] should reach out to the right people. He [Bin Laden] suggested Ahmad Zaidan at Al Jazeera, Robert Fisk of the Independent, and the prominent Arab newspaper editor Abdel Bari Atwan, based in London [emphasis added].�?

Bin Laden clarified that “jihadi media�? is a “main piece of the war�? and it shouldn’t be “abandoned.�?

The journalists named by Bin Laden as preferable disseminators of his propaganda have another thing in common: They all target Israel.

As UK Media Watch, a CAMERA affiliate, has detailed, Fisk’s work evidences a history of offering anti-Israel broadsides and distortions. Among other things, he has said that Hamas is more moral than Israel and conspiratorially accused the Jewish state of dragging “the West into [the] Syrian war.�? In one June 22, 2014 report, Fisk worried about the terror threat to the U.K. from Israeli soldiers.

Similarly, Al-Jazeera, the de-facto state news outlet for Qatar, a chief financier of Hamas and other terror groups, also has a history of making anti-Israel, and frequently antisemitic, broadcasts. And, as Levy and Scott-Clark note, one of Al-Qaeda’s earliest media chiefs was Abu Walid al-Masri—a former Al-Jazeera journalist. Al-Masri even served as Al-Jazeera’s Afghanistan bureau chief from 1998-2001—after he had trained in the same jihadist camps in the 1980s as future Al-Qaeda fighters. Al-Masri’s son-in-law, Saif al-Adel, served as Al-Qaeda’s military chief for a number of years, according to Levy and Scott-Clark.

Posted by SD at October 23, 2017 09:48 AM


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