Al Jazeera-gate - Offices of delayed English language TV station burgled

Released on = April 19, 2006, 4:48 am

Press Release Author = G Harleth

Industry = Media

Press Release Summary = According to the London Independent, the conspiracy theories
have begun after an Easter break-in at the UK offices of the English language
version of Al Jazeera.

Press Release Body = Hard drives were stolen and The Independent\'s Guy Adams says
that valuable goods were left untouched, leading to speculation of foul play.
Details of itineraries for Sir David Frost who recently celebrated the Balfour
Declaration in Israel were also taken.

The break-in comes as the new channel faces disquiet amongst Al Jazeera\'s Arab staff
in Doha according to the site Friends of Al Jazeera. The English station has been
delayed and has made a series of controversial appointments not least a head of news
that used to produce anti-Palestinian journalist, Richard Littlejohn. It is now
under the over all control of Al-Jazeera Satellite Network director general Waddah

The only official comment according to the Independent was that an investigation was
under way. However, the break-in is already being talked about as if it were
something from a John Le Carre Novel or the new novel by former Al Jazeera
journalist, Afshin Rattansi whose \"Dream of the Decade\" novel is attracting
attention in the U.S.

At the end of 2005, the British tabloid Daily Mirror, citing a top secret Downing
Street memorandum, reported that U.S. President George W. Bush discussed bombing the
Arabic-language channel but was dissuaded by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

In Hugh Miles\' \"Al-Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel That is
Challenging the West\", the only conspiracy theories were the ones spread against
Jazeera about who was secretly backing it. It now seems that we will have to wait
for the investigation to find out whether, as The Independent says, \"the dark
rumours of industrial espionage\" point to an \"inside job\".

Web Site =

Contact Details = The Independent Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS
t: 020 7005 2000

Al Jazeera International, 1 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LY

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