Posts Tagged ‘media bias’

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“Fact check” on halal-terror links ignores facts

April 21, 2015

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Fact Check” department recently examined politician Pauline Hanson’s comment that the halal certification business “is a profit money-making racket. The money goes into Islamic organisations and has been connected to the Muslim Brotherhood in France and actually also in Canada.” ABC claims that “Ms Hanson’s claim doesn’t check out.”

Yet Hanson’s quotation is 100 percent accurate. Muslim Brotherhood affiliates have indeed profited from their dual roles as halal certification boards in France and Canada. ABC ignored the evidence in those cases. The Union of the Islamic Organizations in France and the Muslim Association of Canada—both strongly associated with the Muslim Brotherhood—have made significant profits from certifying food as halal. In the case of MAC, the money it made was subsequently given to IRFAN, a front charity for Hamas.

Instead of examining the French and Canadian evidence, the ABC focused exclusively on whether halal fees have ever been shown to fund terrorism in Australia. ABC reports that Australia’s financial regulatory agency said that “it had no information” and that other Australian officials are not aware of “direct links” between halal certification and terror finance.

Besides, at least in what ABC quoted Hanson as saying, she didn’t even mention terrorism.

It should be clear to fair minded readers that ABC’s article unfairly discredited a politician and disappointingly failed to investigate the facts of the UIOF and MAC cases.

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Who was Suleiman al-Rasheed?

October 2, 2013

Years after the discovery of the Golden Chain document that listed early sponsors of Osama Bin Laden, the mainstream media still seem mostly indifferent to investigating the individuals named.

For example, one of the lower profile donors was “Suleiman al-Rasheed,” (also spelled Rashid).  Wikipedia asserts that Suleiman is affiliated with the Al-Rasheed Trading & Contracting Co (RTCC).  The RTCC is a “leading general contractor in Saudi Arabia” according to the book Doing Business with Saudi Arabia.

May 2013 news article from Alriyadh newspaper called RTCC “a mainstay” of Saudi building and construction projects.  The article goes on to explain that RTCC was a major builder of employee housing for Saudi national oil company employees in the 1960s, and implemented “vital projects and strategic in the public and private sectors” (Google translation).  RTCC is currently carrying out “giant” assignments including a security project along Saudi Arabia’s northern border, a transnational railway project, a 1,000-unit housing project at King Saud University, and a water pipeline to Riyadh.

As a side note, it is worth remembering that the government of Saudi Arabia would not be able to award lucrative public contracts to RTCC without oil profits.

All that being said, the precise identity of “Suleiman” and his affiliation with RTCC is still unclear.  Abdullah Al Rashid is RTCC’s CEO and chairman of the board of directors.  The Saudi billionaire Nasser Al-Rashid also appears to be unrelated.

Neither does “Suleiman” appear to be affiliated with Al Rashid Trust, a fake charity in Pakistan that was designated as a terrorist financing entity shortly after 9/11.  The main “Suleiman” in the Golden Chain is Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, but his name is clearly a distinct and separate entry on the list.

Have any journalists researched or tried to confirm the identity of Suleiman al-Rasheed?  Have they even asked RTCC to confirm or deny the allegation that it was involved with the Golden Chain?  Wouldn’t American investors and businessmen like to know the answer to that before embarking on joint ventures with RTCC?

Granted, research in this area can be difficult because of spelling differences and, more importantly, because wealthy Saudis engage in intense legal efforts to suppress negative news coverage and internet search results about them.  But one would think that a dozen years after 9/11 there would at least be one publicly accessible news article looking into Suleiman al-Rasheed.

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Somali press blasts Mo Farah: shill for Dahabshiil

August 30, 2013

UPDATE—FEB. 28, 2015:

In October 2012, Dahabshiil commenced defamation proceedings in The Netherlands against Dahir Alasow (a Somali asylum seeker living in The Netherlands) in respect of various articles written by Mr Alasow and published on his websites including Sunatimes, Waagacusub and ASOJ. These articles alleged that Dahabshiil was, inter alia, involved in the financing of terrorism and other serious crimes, allegations which were categorically denied by Dahabshiil.

On 16 December 2014, the ’s-Hertogenbosch Court of Appeal of The Netherlands, following an extensive examination of the evidence, ruled that the articles were untrue and defamatory of Dahabshiil. Mr Alasow was ordered to remove various articles containing the defamatory allegations from his websites, publish a notice of rectification and pay Dahabshiil’s legal costs. The court’s decision can be found here:
http://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/inziendocument?id=ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2014:5351


When Barclays decided to end its partnership with Dahabshiil, a money transfer company that funds al-Shabaab, Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah condemned the decision, claiming that the families of Somali-Britons like his depend on Dahabshiil’s remittance service.

In turn, the Suna Times, an independent publication of Somali journalists, and Muqdisho News have condemned Mo Farah for misleading the world about the Barclays decision.

The Somali reporters point out 1) that Dahabshiil funds terrorism, as Money Jihad readers also know, 2) that other remittance alternatives separate from Dahabshiil are available to Mr. Farah and to Somalis around the world, and 3) that Mr. Farah belongs to the same tribe as the owner of Dahabshiil.

Mo Farah’s Scandal: Tribalism or Bribery?

London {Sunatimes} British-Somali Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah has started propaganda campaign, organized by the terrorist financier, Dahabshiil money transfer company.

Mo Farah spoke to the Guardian said “This decision (by Barclays Bank) could mean life or death to millions of Somalis.”He misled the British media by telling that he sends monthly upkeep expenses to his family back in Somaliland, and they’ll be in danger should Dahabshiil had been closed.

Mo Farah can send his money through world remit, which has cooperation with Zaad Service (MMT Service in Somaliland), an online money transfer service that can send money in five minutes. He has an alternative in sending money through other services which has not been affected by Barclays ban such as Kaah express, but it’s so unfortunate to see him spreading propaganda in favor of Dahabshiil.

Although Mo Farah hails the same clan of Dahabshiil proprietor, many Somalis wonder why he is in the middle of such a mess. His supporters believe that he hastily and blindly supported the terrorist financiers. He urged Barclays to lift the ban, and signed petition asking British government to put pressure on Barclays in his twitter account. He wrote a letter to PM Cameron urging him not to close Somali money transfer agencies, but in turn, his intention was to save Dahabshiil.

PM Cameron cannot save a company that has committed terrorist crimes; therefore the athlete should have saved his reputation, by trying to find out the truth.

Mo Farah should realize that Dahabshiil was behind the killing of Somali journalists, and intermingled the dirty politics in Somalia, and has been found guilty by a court of law in relation to their financial support with Al Shabab…

It is so distressing to see independent and expatriate journalists who are trying to save their country from the throes of terrorism be smothered out by institutional, corporate, biased media sources that simply will not print the truth about Dahabshiil.  The British media conglomerates have latched on instead to the glamour and star power of Mo Farah, while ignoring “lesser” Somali celebrities like Nimo Djama and Sado Ali Warsame, who have received death threats for speaking out against Dahabshiil.

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Bribery added to Dahabshiil’s rap sheet

August 23, 2013

UPDATE—FEB. 28, 2015:

In October 2012, Dahabshiil commenced defamation proceedings in The Netherlands against Dahir Alasow (a Somali asylum seeker living in The Netherlands) in respect of various articles written by Mr Alasow and published on his websites including Sunatimes, Waagacusub and ASOJ. These articles alleged that Dahabshiil was, inter alia, involved in the financing of terrorism and other serious crimes, allegations which were categorically denied by Dahabshiil.

On 16 December 2014, the ’s-Hertogenbosch Court of Appeal of The Netherlands, following an extensive examination of the evidence, ruled that the articles were untrue and defamatory of Dahabshiil. Mr Alasow was ordered to remove various articles containing the defamatory allegations from his websites, publish a notice of rectification and pay Dahabshiil’s legal costs. The court’s decision can be found here:
http://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/inziendocument?id=ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2014:5351


The Somali Channel, a satellite television station, recently aired an interview with Deka Abdulkadir, who is a district commissioner for Wardhigley in Somalia.  During the interview, Ms. Abdulkadir said that the Somali-based Dahabshiil money transfer service has funded the terrorist organization al-Shabaab (which is well-known to readers of this blog and to those familiar with Somali finance).  The Somali Channel subsequently removed or altered the damning interview from its website and YouTube channel.

The Associated Somali Journalists (ASOJ), a group of independent Somali reporters, have blasted the removal, and have alleged that the video was expunged because Dahabshiil secretly bribed the Somali Channel to remove it.  ASOJ also cites a campaign of “assassinations, incarceration, bribery, and oppression” by Dahabshiil against journalists.  They forgot to mention the death threats against musicians who have sung or spoken out against Dahabshiil.

The UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea recently reported that money for al-Shabaab was transferred through Dahabshiil at the specific direction of al-Shabaab leadership.

From ASOJ‘s news site:

SCANDAL: SOMALI CHANNEL TV WAS BRIBED BY DAHABSHIIL

Associated Somali Journalists (ASOJ) found solid evidence that Somali Channel TV solicited bribery amounting £ 5,000 from Dahabshiil, and subsequently removed from their youtube channel special report on Dahabshiil’s investment to Al Shabab terrorists and other violations.

“Somali journalists denounce in the strongest terms possible the alteration on Wardhigley district commissioner’s remarks against Dahabshiil done by Somali channel TV.  It is unfortunate to see international Satellite TV to do such awkward alteration.  We therefore call the Somali Federal Government to take necessary legal steps against Somali Channel and Dahabshiil” Said in a press release from ASOJ.

ASOJ asks Somali independent media to stay away from bribery and concealing the truth. ASOJ also made available to the public the youtube clip that has been removed from Somali Channel account.  ASOJ once again informs the international community about Dahabshiil’s violations against Somali independent media such as assassinations, incarceration, bribery, and oppression, and asks the Federal Government of Somalia to take necessary steps to contain such acts since Dahabshiil finances Al Shabab Terrorists as well…

One would think that the newspapers in Minneapolis, which routinely covers Somali issues due to the large Somali population there, would cover this news.  Wouldn’t their Somali readers and businesses that cater to them benefit from learning what this major remittance company is doing with the profits from the money Somalis send back home?  Does the press not know what ASOJ is alleging, or do they just not care?

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Syrian rebels awash in Saudi-supplied arms

March 22, 2013

We have known for months that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been financing and supplying Syrian rebels, but a recent interview with Zayd Alisa on Iranian television details increased arms shipments by the Saudis purchased from Croatia and routed through Jordan.  The beneficiaries include the al-Nusra Front—the Al Qaeda front group in Syria.

Iran is extremely hostile to Saudi Arabia, and Iranian news is grossly biased—which should be kept in mind while watching this—but the details discussed are largely based on solid reporting in New York Times article from late February.

The New York Times notes that Iran’s “shipments to Syria’s government, still outstrips what Arab states have sent to the rebels,” so Saudi Arabia and Qatar certainly aren’t the only ones to blame for funding the bloodshed in Syria.

More recently, the London Telegraph has reported that the U.S. and Europe have airlifted 3,000 tons of weapons to Syrian rebels.

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AP deems terrorist ransom demands “pragmatic”

January 27, 2013

In reference to the Algerian hostage standoff that left 37 captives dead, the Associated Press has painted an almost sympathetic portrait of Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the lead abductor.

Starting off with a headline claiming that Belmokhtar preferred making money to killing hostages, the AP further asserts that Belmokhtar was “known as the more pragmatic and less brutal of the commanders of an increasingly successful offshoot of al-Qaeda,” that “those who have dealt directly with him say his cell has never executed a captive,” and that Belmokhtar denounced actions that “caused many civilian casualties.”

Any exceptions to this history of Belmokhtar’s alleged benevolence, intimates the AP, may have involved friendly fire by security forces attempting to rescue hostages.  The AP inserts this whiff of suspicion about the rescuers twice in the article saying, “It’s unclear if the two died from friendly fire,” and later on, “It’s unclear how many were killed by friendly fire.”  Just once, couldn’t the AP have written, “It’s unclear how many were killed by Belmokhtar’s men”?

The AP does not even seem to consider that Belmokhtar may use the money from ransoms to purchase more arms, recruit and train more terrorist operatives, and carry out more abductions and terrorist attacks that kill people.  The AP appears to cast Belmokhtar’s motives as primarily financial without identifying his religious and ideological motivations.  Why didn’t Belmokhtar pursue a career as a businessman, or even as a crime boss, rather than as a terrorist, if his motives were mostly financial?

The one saving grace in this well-researched but sadly biased article comes in the dead last paragraph—the least important paragraph for journalists:

“Before he led this operation in Algeria, that was the sentiment I had, that Belmokhtar was less brutal,” [hostage negotiator Moustapha Chaffi] said by telephone on Friday. “Now I find myself thinking that they are all terrorists. That they all take hostages. That they are all fanatics. So to draw a difference between them is really, really relative. There’s in fact no difference anymore.”

That insight should have been the lead paragraph.

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Sudan earns another year of sanctions

November 14, 2012

U.S. sanctions on Sudan began when the country defaulted on its debts, underwent a military coup, and began hosting terrorists like Osama Bin Laden.  The sanctions have expanded over the years, and have just been renewed for at least one more year, but Sudan’s support for terrorism has played a decreasing role in America’s policy.

With less visible Sudanese sponsorship of terrorism, why do the sanctions persist?

In its announcement of the sanctions renewal, the U.S. State Department blandly refers to an “ongoing conflict,” in Sudan, while Reuters cites unspecified “clashes” between the government and rebels.

Neither mentions the ethnic and religious origins of the predominantly Arab Sudanese government’s genocide against black Sudanese.  The generic sounding “clashes” are attacks by ethnic Arab government-backed militia forces against predominantly black Muslim, but also Christians, residents of Darfur.

As Hugh Fitzgerald once wrote in reference to Sudan, “Osama Bin Laden and his Arabs famously treated the Afghani Muslims with indifference, or contempt. The Arabs, after all, are the ‘best of peoples’ to whom the Qur’an was given, and — so Muslims believe — in Arabic;” and criticized news reporters for failing to “to make a connection between the massacres of Kurds by Arabs in Iraq, and the cultural and linguistic imperialism of the Arabs directed at the Berbers in Algeria, and what is happening in Darfur.”

While economic sanctions rarely succeed in achieving the desired results, Sudan has only itself to blame for the sanctions regime.  One of the conditions for lifting sanctions—allowing independence for South Sudan—has been met, but Sudan itself has failed to live up to the other conditions by continuing to arm, fund, and support the Arab supremacist genocide against its own citizens.