BBC Part of an Al-Qaida “Propaganda Media Network?”

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WikiLeaks files obtained by the Daily Telegraph indicate that someone in the BBC World Service may have been part of an Al-Qaida “propaganda media network.”

A telephone number found in several phone books and phones US forces seized from jihadists links directly back to the Beeb:

A detainee assessment, dated 21 April 2007, states: “The London, United Kingdom (UK), phone number 0044 207 XXX XXXX was discovered in numerous seized phone books and phones associated with extremist-linked individuals.

“The number is associated with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).” Analysis by The Daily Telegraph suggests the number is one for Bush House, home of the BBC World Service.

The assessment continues that US forces uncovered many “extremist links” to this number, suggesting that extremists could have made contact with BBC employees who were sympathetic to extremists or had information on “ACM [anti-Coalition Militia] operations”.

It says: “(Analyst Note: Numerous extremist links to this BBC number indicates a possible propaganda media network connection. Network analysis might provide leads to individuals with either sympathetic ties to extremists or possibly possessing information on ACM operations.)”

The Daily Telegraph rang the phone number on Monday. A single tone on the line suggested that it had been disconnected, or was no longer in use.

The possibility’s hardly shocking. When Gaza Islamists kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston in 2007, Israel allowed a Hamas member employed by the BBC to enter Gaza to help secure Johnston’s release. That somebody was subsequently identified as Fayad Abu Shamala.

I wish it were self-evident that a news service stupid enough to employ a member of a terror group only piles more scorn upon itself when the truth comes out. Heads roll over this.

Sassygate” is a great case in point. After London’s 7/7 attacks, a trainee journalist at The Guardian (what is it about UK journos?) wrote a response titled We Rock the Boat: Today’s Muslims aren’t prepared to ignore injustice without disclosing that he was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

The Guardian terminated its relationship with Aslam; two other staffers resigned.

I hope jihadi go-to man in the BBC is identified soon. Al-Qaida’s BBC-insider is most likely far more experienced than Aslam, and the Beeb’s supported by British taxpayers. The fallout will make Sassygate look like a picnic.

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