MAJOR TERROR PLOT IGNORED (AGAIN)
In December we had this story at LGF, from a South African site: Algerian Group Suspected of Planning US Attacks.
Rome - Three Algerians arrested in an anti-terrorist operation in southern Italy are suspected of being linked to a planned new series of attacks in the United States, interior minister Giuseppe Pisanu said Friday.
The attacks would have targeted ships, stadiums or railway stations in a bid to outdo the September 11 2001 strikes by al-Qaeda in New York and Washington which killed about 2,700 people, Pisanu said.
The Algerians, suspected of belonging to a cell established by an al-Qaeda-linked Algerian extremist organisation, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), were named as Achour Rabah, Tartaq Sami and Yasmine Bouhrama.
But as Cliff Kincaid and Brent Baker point out, the story was almost totally ignored by US media.
â€œU.S. terror attacks foiled,â€ read the headline in Englandâ€™s Sunday Times. In France, a headline from Agence France Presse proclaimed, â€œThree Algerians arrested in Italy over plot targeting U.S.â€
Curiously, what was deemed worthy of a worldwide media blitz abroad was virtually ignored by the U.S. media, and conservative media watchdog groups are saying that is no accident.
â€œMy impression is that the major media want to use the NSA story to try and impeach the president,â€ says Cliff Kincaid, editor of the Accuracy in Media Report published by the grassroots Accuracy in Media organization.
â€œIf you remind people that terrorists actually are planning to kill us, that tends to support the case made by President Bush. They will ignore any issue that shows that this kind of [wiretapping] tactic can work in the war on terror.â€
â€œThe mainstream media have framed the story as one of the nefarious President Bush â€˜spying on U.S. citizens,â€™ where the average American is a victim not a beneficiary,â€ commented Brent Baker, vice president of the Media Research Center, a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to encouraging balanced news coverage, â€œso journalists have little interest in any evidence that the program has helped save lives by uncovering terrorist plans.â€
The Associated Press version of the story did not disclose that the men planned to target the U.S. Nor did it report that the evidence against the suspects was gathered via a wiretapping surveillance operation.
Furthermore, only one American newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, is known to have published the story that the AP distributed. It ran on page A-6 under the headline â€œItaly Charges 3 Algerians.â€ The Inquirer report also made no mention of the plot to target the U.S. - although foreign publications included this information in the headlines and lead sentences of their stories. Nor did it advise readers that domestic wiretaps played a key role in nabbing the suspected terrorists.
One obvious question media critics are now raising: Did the American media intentionally ignore an important story because it didnâ€™t fit into their agenda of attacking President George Bush for using wiretapping to spy on potential terrorists in the U.S.?
Iâ€™m not completely sure you can draw the conclusion that this ... oversight ... was intentional.
But itâ€™s a fair question, given the seriousness of the story.