While the authorities in Berlin admit they are still searching for the perpetrator of Monday evening’s truck attack on a Christmas Market in the west of the city, the cheaper end of the Fourth Estate has decided to do what it does best at this time, and speculate wildly, frightening readers, inventing claims, and hoping their audience forgets the dishonesty in the Christmas haze. Which brings us to today’s Murdoch Sun.
Here, we see a particularly blatant example of the speculation and invention genre, as readers are told “Christmas Market Massacre … BRIT I. S. CELL ‘LINKED TO TRUCK HORROR’ … ‘Groomed by same Jihadis’ … UK cops’ leave is cancelled … Manhunt for killer”. There is a good reason for the two items in quote marks, which is that the Murdoch goons have made them up. It’s basically another pack of lies.
From the very start of Tom Wells’ supporting article, “ISIS commanders who plotted the Berlin Christmas truck massacre ‘may have groomed suspected British terror cell’” the quote marks keep on coming. For starters, we still do not know who carried out the attack, even though ISIS, or whatever they’re calling themselves this week, have claimed responsibility. They did that with the Nice attack. It’s what they do.
So as we don’t know who plotted the attack, we also can’t say who they might or might not have groomed. The Sun’s thin gruel of a story ponies up no credible evidence: “Sources say the five men and a woman arrested in Derby and London last week are suspected of being lined up for an international wave of attacks”. Sources. What sources would those be, Murdoch doggies? The ones you put on your burgers when you were pissed?
It gets worse: “Meanwhile all police requests for leave is being refused and soldiers could be drafted on to London streets for New Year’s Eve”. Police leave refused over Christmas and New Year. As it is every year. And note the use of “soldiers could”. They also could not. It’s just more puerile speculation.And it gets worse still.
“Police believe the British cell were on the brink of being ‘operational’”. Do we get a credible source to back that one up? Do we heck. Oh hang on, what’s this? “Last night a US security source said: ‘We understand efforts to make explosives were ramped up in recent weeks’”. Who’s this? Who knows. Could be a hothead from Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). More uncorroborated speculation.
As is “US officials also believe one suspect could have had contact with an ISIS chief called Abu Sulayman al-Firansi … He is thought to have played a key role in the mass Paris and Brussels attacks which left a total of 162 people dead … at least one of the suspects is feared to have had contact with al-Faransi”. Perhaps it was to tell whoever subbed this garbage to spell his name consistently.
This front page “exclusive” is exclusive because, as so often, nobody else is prepared to shamelessly peddle this pack of lies to their readers. Sun editor Tony Gallagher should hang his head in shame - but he doesn’t have any, and so he won’t.
The Sun - it’s a newspaper, Jim, but not as we know it.