An investigation into CNN’s Syrian reporting reveals they paid a top Al-Qaeda filmmaker and propagandist to provide ratings-boosting fake news for their American audience.
Bilal Abdul Kareem, an Al-Qaeda operative and media spin doctor, sat down with a camera and discussed how he was hired by CNN to make their documentary “Undercover in Syria”:
“This was with CNN and their correspondent Clarissa Ward, which I have big-time respect for, big-time respect as a journalist, as a person,” Abdul Kareem remarked.
With a sardonic grin, Abdul Kareem described how he was slighted: “This Undercover in Syria, you can Google it — it won the prestigious Peabody Award, and it won the prestigious Overseas Press Club Award, which are basically the highest awards in journalism for international reporting. Now, [CNN] barely mentioned my name! I’m telling you, somehow CNN must have forgotten that I was the one that filmed it, I guess they forgot that.”
Indeed, Abdul Kareem’s name was a mere footnote in the Peabody Awards press release on its honoring of CNN. The organization praised Clarissa Ward for “[going] undercover into northern Syria to document Russian influence on the fighting and to navigate the ongoing devastation,” but credited Abdul Kareem only in small print, despite the fact that he was responsible for providing CNN with its on-the-ground footage.
While Bilal Abdul Kareem states that CNN “must have forgotten” that he filmed the award-winning documentary, the fact is CNN are trying to cover up the fact they employed an Al-Qaeda member to produce ratings-boosting fake news.
Alternet via Salon reports:
[One] of Abdul Kareem’s closest colleagues has also been accused of membership in Syria’s al-Qaeda franchise. Akif Razaq, an employee of Abdul Kareem’s online media group, On the Ground News, was recently stripped of British citizenship for his alleged involvement with al-Nusra. A notice presented by British authorities to Razaq’s family in Birmingham accused him of being “aligned with an al-Qaeda affiliated group” and declared that he “presents a threat to the national security of the United Kingdom.”
During Abdul Kareem’s Facebook video response to the Al Arabiya report, he was seated beside Razap. Razaq has also co-hosted On the Ground News segments with him.
While Abdul Kareem insisted there was “no proof” of his membership in the Salafi-jihadist organization, rebels inside Syria tell a different story.
Though Abdul Kareem denies his involvement with the al-Nusra Front, his personal websites glorify al-Qaeda and promote jihad.
An activist “affiliated with the rebel group Kataib Thawar al-Sham” also stated that “Abdul Kareem was not only a propagandist for al-Nusra, but well known as a member of the group” going on to comment that fighters for Thawar al-Sham call Abdul Kareem the “American mujahid”, which means “jihadist” in Arabic.
Read the rest of the AlterNet via Salon article here.