We’ve often jested about it, but what if it were true?
The BBC could be part of a ‘propaganda media network’ for al-Qaeda, according to U.S. files published by Wikileaks.
A phone number of someone at the BBC was found in phone books and programmed into the mobile phones of a number of militants seized by the Americans. The number is believed to be based at Bush House, the headquarters of the BBC World Service.
The assessment on one of the detainees at the Guantanamo camp, dated 21 April 2007, said: ‘The London, United Kingdom, phone number 0044 207 *** **** was discovered in numerous seized phone books and phones associated with extremist-linked individuals.
‘The number is associated with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).’
The U.S. assessment file said forces had uncovered many ‘extremist links’ to the BBC number – indicating that extremists could have made contacts with employees at the broadcaster who were sympathetic to extremists or had information on ‘ACM’ (anti-Coalition militia) activities.
An analyst’s note on the file states: ‘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 BBC number appears in the file of Turki Mish’awi Zaid Alj-Amri, a Saudi who was ‘assessed to be a member of al-Qaeda, who travelled to Afghanistan to participate in jihad.’ The US files says Alj-Amri had stayed at al-Qaeda camps and had received training there. He had also fought against Coalition forces at Tora Bora in Afghanistan.
‘Many of the telephone numbers in his pocket litter have been associated with multiple ACM personnel, indicating he may have played a greater role in multiple activities than previously assessed.’
He was repatriated to Saudia Arabia in late 2009.
The BBC number listed on the file is now dead, but the revelation could further dent the broadcaster’ reputation for impartiality. It has for years faced claims it is biased towards the left. But this is the first time the BBC has been linked to Islamic extremism.
In September 2006, BBC chairman Michael Grade held an ‘impartiality summit’ to assess whether there was a left-wing bias. A leaked account of the meeting showed that executives admitted they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda.
They said they would give him a platform to explain his views, if he approached them.
Former BBC political editor Andrew Marr later said the BBC was not ‘impartial or neutral’, saying it had a ‘liberal bias’. A spokesman for the BBC said: ‘Independence and impartiality are at the heart of all BBC World Service output. The service has interviewed representatives of organisations from all sides involved in the Afghan conflict so it would not be surprising that a number believed to relate to the BBC Pashto service was in circulation.’
The BBC enjoys a solid, but wholly unjustified international reputation for impartiality. In spite of this (and its own propaganda), the British state broadcaster is caught out by the observant time after time; slanting reports, omitting material facts and downplaying the opinions of those holding views which differ from those of its middle class, liberal, multiculturalist and metropolitan caucus.
This bias is so extensive that something of a cottage industry of Beeb-watching has sprung up in recent years, with blogs such as the excellent Biased BBC, the thorough, analytical but sadly now defunct BeebBiasCraig and BeebWatch – supplemented by more general media-watching sites such as Honest Reporting and Camera, more general lib-media watching sites who also mine the rich vein of the BBC’s lack of objectivity and its politically correct, limited worldview.
One of the standout areas of BBC bias is its promotion of Islam. At times, it seems as if it is selling the Muslim faith to Britons – seeking constantly to feature examples of benign, integrated and, well – middle class and metropolitan – Muslims as if to say ‘Look – these Muslims are just like you (if ‘you’ are a middle class, affluent professional with multicultural, liberal-to-left views and live in London) – and Islam really is a religion of peace!’.
Meanwhile, parts of the country of the kind not inhabited by the kind of affluent liberals who are so overrepresented at Broadcasting House, are coming to resemble Islamabad – mosque-fringed, self-segregating ghettoes, some of which are home to major organised crime, terrorism and benefit fraud.
But you’d never know this from al-Beeb’s output.
Infiltrated by al-Qaeda? We shall see. But shilling for Islam at every opportunity and ‘shielding’ British people from the largely-negative consequences of decades of untrammelled mass immigration from Pakistan and Bangladesh by manipulating the news to fit their organisational groupthink?
[Sources: Mail Online, Wikileaks]
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