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 Khanfar.
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 = http://www.independent.co.uk
Contact Details = The Independent Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS t: 020 7005 2000
Al Jazeera International, 1 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LY