(source: Voice of the Cape Online)
The Medie Review Network has summarily dismissed a news headline in New Age stating that “SA’s al-Qaeda links revealed” which appeared on Tuesday, saying that this was not only misleading, but entirely speculative. According to MRN chairperson, Iqbal Jassat, the article quoting faceless South African and American intelligence sources, “making utterly outrageous and unsubstantiated allegations”.
Among the statements made was the claim that SA was being used as a springboard to infiltrate al-Qaeda-linked operatives into Europe, the UK and the US. It goes on to claim that the infiltration is run by a network of Pakistani citizens who bring in illegal aliens by air via OR Tambo airport or overland through Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho.
“The report is mischievous, misleading and malicious for the rest of its content deals with a deliberate attempt to conflate criminal conduct with a movement widely viewed as an ‘Islamic terror group’. Money laundering and forgery of documents along with human trafficking is criminal,” Jassat stated.
He said while MRN applauded the Hawks for busting many of these crime syndicates, they “deplore New Age journalist De Wet Potgieter’s unprofessional and wholly unethical attempt to mix fact with fiction. Wealso applaud the intense operations conducted by members of specialisedundercover police units and the SA Revenue Services (SARS) for their efforts to uncover and prosecute criminal gangs. We believe that to conflate the illegal activities of thugs with the legitimate political aspirations of people opposed to US-backed dictators is a travesty.
“Such trial-by-media as is evident by this devious report does a great deal of disservice to Muslims in SA, many of whom are equally appalled by the death and destruction caused by US meddling in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and its unconditional support for Israel’s repressive oppression of Palestinians. We therefore challenge Potgieter to disclosewhether any of these criminals have been charged and prosecuted in SA as terrorists under the existing anti-terror laws,” he said. VOC
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