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Thursday, August 24, 2006
Klein Pushes Unsubstantiated al-Qaida Link to Kidnapping
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 24 WorldNetDaily article shows off what Aaron Klein does with his time when he's not undermining the Israeli government of Ehud Olmert: he's trying to claim that al-Qaida is operating in Gaza against Israel.

Under the subhead "Members of family lead terrorist groups with ties to al-Qaida," Klein's main claim here -- that "A clan from the Gaza Strip with members involved in major terror organizations are lead suspects in the kidnapping of Fox News reporter Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig" -- is attributed to the usual anonymous sources, this time "senior Palestinian security officials." Klein later repeats his claim that anonymous "[a]nalysts are speculating" that the group that kidnapped Centanni and Wiig, the Holy Jihad Battalion, "is a front for al-Qaida."

But nowhere does Klein explicitly claim, anonymous sources or not, that the clan Klein is writing about are members of the Holy Jihad Battalion. Instead, Klein intermixes all these claims to create the impression that al-Qaida is behind the kidnappings -- something for which he apparently has no substantive evidence.

Klein also must deal with his erroneous Aug. 14 assertion that "independent Palestinian gunmen" affiliated with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades kidnapped Centanni and Wiig. He does it here by attempting a diversion:

Last week, within hours of the abductions, Abu Abir, spokesman for the Committees, denied to WorldNetDaily his group was behind the kidnappings but hinted "other groups" are involved.

But Klein doesn't quote Abir in his Aug. 14 article -- which carries the headline "Terrorists: We kidnapped Fox reporters" -- and has never reported Abir's denial of involvement until now. While Klein quoted a "senior Al Aqsa leader" who "claimed his group did not sanction the kidnapping," the guilt-by-association Klein portrays with Al Aqsa and the kidnapping is unmistakable.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:33 PM EDT

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