Ministry of Defense is putting troops’ lives at risk by letting al-Jazeera report from Afghanistan front line.
Reporters from the controversial Arab TV channel Al Jazeera – infamous for broadcasting video messages from Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden – are to be allowed to report for the first time alongside UK troops from the frontline in Afghanistan.
Until now, so-called ’embeds’ in Helmand Province, where most UK troops are fighting, have been restricted to British media outlets such as the BBC, ITV and Sky, plus US TV stations.
But the Ministry of Defense confirmed last night that Al Jazeera – dubbed ‘terror television’ for broadcasting hostage executions and the deaths of British and US soldiers – is to be given permission to report from the Afghan war zone.
The MoD claims its decision was made in order to reach millions of Muslims and Arabs in the UK and the rest of the world who might otherwise be denied the chance to see how British Forces are trying to free the Afghans from Taliban rule. It is keen to persuade the Arab world that, unlike the Taliban, British forces make extraordinary efforts to avoid civilian casualties in the conflict. (Yeah, good luck with that)
But last night Tory MP David Davies warned that British soldiers’ lives could be put at risk by allowing Al Jazeera’s journalists to study UK military tactics.
Mr Davies said: ‘I would be wary of this idea. The MoD should be aware that Al Jazeera has tended to be strongly biased towards Islamic causes. There is a danger that if they learn anything about the way the British Army operates it could put our soldiers’ lives at risk.
Five years ago, Al Jazeera broadcast a gruesome video showing British hostage Ken Bigley being murdered by his militant Iraqi captors near Baghdad. In March, 2003, just after the invasion, Al Jazeera broadcast footage of dead British soldiers in Iraq when their Land Rover was attacked.
Later the same year, the US military banned the station from filming its operations after an Al Jazeera crew filmed an American soldier dying in the street in Baghdad and broadcast it before his family had been informed.
Al Jazeera gained worldwide attention after the Twin Towers terrorist outrage on September 11, 2001, when it was the only channel to cover the war in Afghanistan live from the country and broadcast video statements by Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders. UK DAILY MAIL
Typical al-Jazeera video
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