Saturday, October 30, 2004


Terrorists bomb Al Jazeera's rival, Al Arabiya

Terrorists are not yet able to express their television viewing choices to Nielsen Media Research. So, today they resorted to doing what they do best - car bombs - in order to tell what the world what they think should be Must See TV.

Al Arabiya's bombing makes sense in light of the fact that terrorists enjoy a cozy relationship with Al Jazeera. While neither network is admirable, Al Arabiya has tried to be "objectionable".

Elie Nakouzi, host of Al-Arabiya's "From Iraq" is a Christian Lebanese anchor is described by the terrorists as their "No. 1 target." The lengths that these terrorists are going to in order to suppress the flowering of democracy is despicable but pathetic. They are going to fail. Once the roots of democracy begin, there is no stopping it.

If the Nielsen company had any doubts about what the Zarqawi household is watching, they now have their answer.

Fox News: October 30, 2004 (today)
In Baghdad, the car bomb blasted the offices of the Al-Arabiya (search) television network in the upscale Mansour neighborhood, killing seven people and wounding 19, according to police and hospital officials.

Three bodies, including one of a woman, were mutilated beyond recognition, said Al-Arabiya correspondent Najwa Qassem. She said they could not tell if any of the three bodies were those of Al-Arabiya employees. However, she confirmed that one guard and one administration worker were among the dead.

The blast collapsed the first floor of the building, where staffers were holding a meeting, said Saad al-Husseini, a correspondent of MBC, a sister channel of Al-Arabiya based in the same building.

Employees "were trapped between fire and the shattering shards of glass," he said. That "led to the high number of casualties. We were all there."

A militant group calling itself the "1920 Brigades" claimed responsibility for the attack, blasting Al-Arabiya as "Americanized spies speaking in Arabic tongue" in a statement posted on the Web.

"We have threatened them to no avail that they are the mouthpiece of the American occupation in Iraq," the statement said. It warned of more attacks against this "treacherous network." It was impossible to verify the claim's authenticity.

The group said Elie Nakouzi — the Christian Lebanese anchor who presents the TV program "From Iraq" — is No. 1 on their hit list. Nakouzi used to present the program from the network's offices in Baghdad before he was relocated to their studios in Dubai amid fears he would be targeted.

The Washington Post: September 30, 2003
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — No matter what scoop is run these days on the Arab world's newest and brashest satellite channel, someone seems to get angry.

Al Arabiya's staff in Iraq has been threatened with death from pro-Saddam renegades and is being criticized by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council as well as the State Department.

The news channel's "Inside Iraq," with its in-your-face host Elie Nakouzi, ran two long programs showing footage of Saddam Hussein's two sons cavorting with imported prostitutes at a private club, and in another program showed Saddam's half-brother, Watban, then Iraq's interior minister, supervising the routine beating and torture of petty criminals.

Not content with such footage, the program also locates eyewitnesses. It took a torture victim back to the scene, and in the program about Saddam's sons and their women, it invited Uday Hussein's teenage maid and a bodyguard to regale viewers with saucy and shocking details.

No wonder the owners of the hotel where the studios are based has asked Al Arabiya to move out, fearing attacks with bombs or rocket-propelled grenades by Saddam loyalists or Islamic fanatics.


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