Accuracy in Media

Allan J. Block, owner of Block Communications, is paying the oil-rich Arab monarchy of Qatar for the right to air Al-Jazeera English on his Buckeye Cable System that covers the Toledo, Ohio area. Not everyone in the viewing area is pleased. “I live in Perrysburg, Ohio, within sight of the Mosque along I-75, says Nancy, a local resident. “I attempted to contact Mr. Block’s office by phone and was greeted by a recorded message to leave a comment or phone number. I sent an e-mail to the cable company and the FCC to protest this outrageous conspiracy with the terrorists who murdered Americans in New York City.”

That telephone number is 419-724-6035. Block tells AIM that he wants to reach Toledo-area Arabs and Muslims, most of whom don’t speak Arabic, with Al-Jazeera English. But Toledo has already been the location of one alleged terrorist plot directed against U.S. military forces. Block’s own newspaper, the Toledo Blade, called it a “Toledo-based plot to kill or injure U.S. troops overseas.” Associated Press reports that prosecutors claim that some of the conspirators met at a Muslim convention in Cleveland.

Nancy, the Perrysburg, Ohio, resident, also sent an email to Allan J. Block, saying, “I am a Buckeye cable and internet customer. I want to protest your decision to air the Al-Jazerra English Channel. It is a pro-terrorist media outlet. You are aiding and abetting the enemy of the United States…You are doing our country no favors and are cooperating in the hazards to me and countless numbers of others with the potential for strengthening the enemy core already living among us. I consider this anti-American and want you to reconsider your decision.”

Is it true that Al-Jazeera was involved in a conspiracy with the 9/11 terrorists? We know that the channel’s Afghanistan bureau chief, Tayseer Alouni, who interviewed Osama bin Laden, was convicted of being an agent of al Qaeda and sentenced to prison in Spain. But also consider one of the more interesting but largely ignored revelations from the interrogation of al Qaeda 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM). Most of the stories focused on his admissions of complicity in the 9/11 and other attacks. But the evidence against KSM also included the substance of an interview he granted to Yosri Fouda of Al-Jazeera in June 2002. KSM and other al-Qaeda figures gave the interview in order to claim credit for and to justify the murder of almost 3,000 Americans. They viewed Al-Jazeera as a sympathetic mouthpiece to reach the Arab/Muslim world.

The transcript of the interrogation of another al-Qaeda operative, Ramzi bin al-Shib, goes into more detail about the al-Qaeda relationship with Al-Jazeera. During the interview, as noted on page five of the transcript, KSM and Ramzi bin al-Shib “detailed how the 9/11 attacks were planned and executed” and showed the Al-Jazeera reporter “souvenirs” of the attacks, including an air navigation map of the American eastern seaboard and flight simulator CD-Roms.

The transcript also explains that Ramzi bin al-Shib had “passed a document,” entitled, “The Reality of the New Crusaders War,” to Al-Jazeera reporter Fouda “with a request for the document to be translated into English and entered into the Library of Congress. According to the London Sunday Times the document is al Qaeda’s written attempt to justify the 9/11 attacks through Islamic teaching.” The document contained statements from Taliban leader Mullah Mohamed Omar and Osama bin Laden. Once again, the evidence shows that al Qaeda regarded Al-Jazeera as a public relations arm of the terrorist group.

Fouda, the only journalist to have interviewed KSM, was given the interview under very strict conditions. “I was not to mention how we communicated, nor reveal their ‘real’ code-names,” he later wrote. “I was asked to place my right hand on a copy of the Holy Koran and solemnly swear to this.” He says he joined them “for a last prayer before saying goodbye.” At one point, he says, “Ramzi hugged me closely.” Is this the work of a legitimate journalist or a propagandist for a cause? Fouda would write the book, Masterminds of Terror: The Truth Behind the Most Devastating Terrorist Attack the World Has Ever Seen. It proves 9/11 was not an “inside job” but rather the work of a foreign terrorist enemy that collaborates with an Arab government-funded television channel, Al-Jazeera.

Now, with the advent of Al-Jazeera English, the channel wants to stir up and inflame the Arabs and Muslims who don’t speak Arabic. It desperately wants a foothold inside the U.S. All major U.S. satellite and cable providers had been refusing to give Al-Jazeera English this outpost on American soil. It was the patriotic thing to do.

As we noted in a previous column, “Al-Jazeera began in 1996, the same year bin Laden declared war on America. They have been working together ever since. In addition to the numerous al-Qaeda videos and statements aired by the channel, its anchors openly refer to suicide bombers as ‘martyrs’ for the cause. In other words, it actively recruits Muslims to kill Americans and Israelis. Being a terrorist channel, however, does have its advantages. Al-Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda was singled out to obtain exclusive interviews with the al-Qaeda architects of 9/11, who wanted credit for killing almost 3,000 Americans. Such terrorist ‘exclusives’ are what Al-Jazeera specializes in.”

This history is important because Allan J. Block’s minions are telling cable subscribers in the area that “The English-language Al-Jazeera does not have a political or religious agenda” and that “It is not to be confused with the Arabic-language channel of the same name that is seen mostly in the Middle East.”

When they are funded by the same entity, the Sunni Arab Muslim monarchy of Qatar, and when personnel overlap to the extent that the Arabic service dominates the English-language one, the statement by Buckeye Cable has to be seen for what it is — a bald-faced lie.

In an article posted by The Weekly Standard, Louis Wittig reviewed the programs of Al-Jazeera English and found it guilty of airing “deceptive and terrorist-promoting segments.” He cited two concrete examples. One story blamed Israel for bombing a building in Gaza that was said to house a “charity.” No Israeli response to this sensational charge was permitted. The other was a report glorifying the Islamic Army of Iraq, a terrorist group.

The Associated Press has reported that the Islamic Army of Iraq, which includes remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime, praised Al-Jazeera television in an audio message posted on the Internet, saying the Arab satellite station “was positive in our fight against the enemies.”

Citing research conducted by AIM, Wittig noted that three of the four top managers at the English-language channel come from the Arabic channel.

Greg Barker’s Frontline World program, “War of Ideas,” confirmed that the Arabic Al-Jazeera editorially controls Al-Jazeera English. Officials of Al-Jazeera didn’t even try to hide it from him.

“Television is a weapon,” Barker noted. And Allan J. Block is aiming that weapon directly at the American people.

It is worse than an American network airing Tokyo Rose during World War II because Block is actually paying for the right to air enemy propaganda.

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