The letter below has been sent to the Letters Editor of the Pretoria News in response to the Article “Al Qaeda link in attack on cop” which appeared as the lead article in the Tuesday late edition.  (21st December 2010)

The letters Editor – Pretoria News

My response to the article is as follows:

It is a well known fact that in journalism, it is the undercurrents and pressures within this profession that determines not only the news but the quality of the news itself.  Journalists seem to be in love with the word Al Qaeda and terrorism linked to it. It is also about the terror of power and the power of terror.

The Media Review Network remains hugely sceptical about the report in the Pretoria News: Al – Qaeda Link in attack on cop”. (Tuesday 21st December 2010). To link the attempted robbery to Al Qaeda is not only disingenuous but sensationalism in the extreme.

The article raises many questions. How did the Provincial Police Management arrive at the conclusion that there was a possible Al Qaeda link without having questioned the suspect that was arrested?  If police knew that they received terrorist training, why were they not apprehended and questioned? Why wait for the “terrorists” to attack a luxury estate before taking action?  What happened to the bag at the back of the bakkie? How did Graeme Hosken conclude who the owner of the bag was when five of the six men escaped? Who did he speak to? 

The reading public expects an accurate account of what happened on the scene and not a minefield of speculative reporting on alleged plots and subplots. The media shapes what we think and feel about issues that affect us all.

The fact that Germany used the venue as their base during the FIFA WC 2010 is irrelevant, unless Graeme Hosken wants to raise the spectre of Al Qaeda again, which other journalists and “terror experts” failed to do during the World Cup. False Flagging the Al Qaeda red herring during the World Cup was a disastrous failure for its proponents.

Graeme Hosken will be well advised to remember that the media must not be allowed to become a business enterprise entirely. If it does then news becomes a commodity, serving the interest of a few. It ceases to bethe protector of public interest.

Thank you.

Ibrahim VawdaSenior Researcher,Media Review NetworkTell: 012 374 6987E-mail: