The latest bin Laden audio tape includes a curious defense of two Al-Jazeera employees, one at Gitmo and the other in prison in Spain.
The terror chief explicitly refers to “those working in the media, like Sami al-Hajj and Taysir Alouni, who was imprisoned at the instigation of the American administration.” He names them in the context of saying many of those who have been imprisoned had no connection to the 9/11 terror attacks. Al-Hajj was picked up on the battlefield of Afghanistan and Alouni was convicted and sentenced to 7 years in prison in Spain for being an agent of al-Qaeda. A pro-Alouni website calls him a prisoner of a “fake democracy.” But the Spanish Judge in the case had alleged that Alouni was a member of an al Qaeda terror cell who helped plan 9/11.
If anything, Bin Laden’s lies about the two Al-Jazeera employees suggest they were extremely important to al Qaeda.
A Reuters dispatch carried by Al-Jazeera is claiming that bin Laden has absolved al-Hajj and Alouni of any association at all with al Qaeda. But a strict reading of the transcript of the tape is unclear on this point. Whatever the case, it is extremely significant that bin Laden would be defending two Al-Jazeera employees. That is big news — and it’s not good news for Al-Jazeera.