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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Sun Jihadi Exclusive Isn’t

Today’s front page splash from the Super Soaraway Currant Bun surfs the wave of paranoia following recent attacks in Nice and Northern France, telling readersSun Investigation … LONE WOLF PLOT TO BLITZ UK … We expose jihadi car bomb bid”. This slice of hokum might persuade the more susceptible among the paper’s readership, but this is not only not worth the “exclusive” tag, it is also not a new story.
Today's non-existent plot isn't a new story ...

Moreover, the claim “Jihadi spent two months coaching our man on the orders of ISIS’s top recruiter” is bunk. There is no evidence that the man at the other end of the conversation struck up by a Sun reporter pretending to be Muslim, and an ISIS sympathiser, was working on anyone’s orders but his own. And there was no “lone wolf” - unless you are willing enough to suspend disbelief and apply the term to a Sun hack.

It gets worse: the Sun story describes how their man was sent a bomb-making manual and instructed to load the device into a car, along with fireworks and a gun, and to drive somewhere like a shopping centre, then describes this as a “Nice style attack”. Except the Nice attack wasn’t a bombing - it was a truck driven through crowds of pedestrians. The only reason the attacker died was because he was shot dead.

What the Sun describes is a suicide attack - the driver of the car would be killed instantly when his bomb detonated. Then it gets worse still: the Sun tactic of claiming the paper had foiled an IS attack, and then running the story hard on the heels of a genuine terror attack elsewhere, is not new. The same kind of story was splashed across the front page just after last year’s beach massacre in Tunisia.
... it was run by the same paper last year

And there it is: “I. S. PLOT TO BOMB UK TODAY … Lee Rigby parade blast plan smashed”, from June 27, 2015. Same idea as today’s story. Same exchange of messages with supposed IS presence somewhere outside the jurisdiction of the law enforcement services. Same bomb-making manual sent. Same shoddy journalism (last year’s story couldn’t decide whether the targeted parade was in Woolwich, or Merton).

Today’s story is equally lame, telling “Our evidence has been passed to anti-terror police and MI5 … We are not revealing the location of the shopping centre at their request”. The cops were so excited, they commented “It is always helpful when journalists share with police information that could indicate terrorist or criminal activity”. Notice use of the word “could”. Because all this is is a Sun hack going looking for a story.

The shoddy journalism backing up the story includes this gem: “During the Telegram sessions with The Sun’s reporter, Khurasani referred to the IS attacks in Nice, Germany and the gay club in Florida as examples of what jihadis could achieve”. Nice was not a suicide bombing. There has not been a suicide bombing in Germany. The shooting at the gay club in Florida was not a suicide bombing.

So not only is this last year’s Sunexclusive” reheated, the standard of hackery is equally lame. There was no plot then, and there is none now. Crap newspaper, crap journalism.


Widely Red said...

There has been a suicide bombing in Germany. Ansbach, a few days ago.

pete c said...

Just how does a lone wolf manage to mount a 'Blitz'.

Trivial Commentator said...

Only if he's Wolf Blitzer