Top Al Jazeera reporter Tayssir Alouni jailed for 'collaborating with a terrorist organisation' and acting as ' financial courier for Bin Laden'
September 26, 2005
The Qatar-based pan-Arab news network said it would appeal against the conviction, which it called "unfair".
Alouni - who protests his innocence - interviewed Osama Bin Laden before the 11 September attacks.
He was sentenced to seven years for acting as financial courier to Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.
A Syrian-born Spanish citizen, Alouni was one of 24 defendants in Europe's biggest trial of Islamic extremists which has ended in Spain.
The suspected ringleader and 16 other defendants received long sentences for crimes related to the 11 September attacks and membership of a terrorist organisation - although not for committing the attacks themselves.
"The verdict is very disappointing and we consider it unfair and we will contact immediately the legal defence team to study the possibilities of appealing it," al-Jazeera director general Waddah Khanfar said in an interview with AFP.
Alouni denied carrying money intended for al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan, saying in his testimony that he was only doing his job as a journalist.
Until his arrest in 2003, he was among al-Jazeera's most prominent and popular correspondents, fronting the network's coverage of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
-------------------------------http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level.php?cat=Terrorism&loid=8.0.212028672&par=0 Dubai, 26 Sept. (AKI) - The al-Qaeda movement has for the first time broadcast a television news bulletin, via the Internet. While the Islamist terror group has made ample use of the web for propaganda, this is the first time it has produced something that resembles a traditional television news bulletin - with some striking differences; the newsreader has his face covered and a Koran and rifle at his side. The presenter of the 16-minute "bulletin" entitled Sout al-Khalifa (the Voice of the Caliphate) announced that they would be broadcast weekly.
The first programme opened with the headlines: Gaza has been freed, a great victory; From Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi declares a war of revenge of the Sunnis; Hurricane Katrina, the start of a divine retribution.
The announcement of the withdrawal of the "Zionist forces from the lands of Gaza", was accompanied by archive footage of Palestinians celebrating, some of it from Doha-based Arabic satellite network al-Jazeera.
The second item is on the communique by al-Qaeda in Iraq in which it claims responsibility for the attacks against Shiites in Baghdad as revenge for the killing of Sunnis in Tel Afar. The presenter reads an excerpt from the last speech by al-Zarqawi on the stand off at Tel Afar as one of the most recent photos of al-Zarqawi is shown on the screen.
The third news item on the Islamist television news bulletin regards the "Islamic Army in Iraq" (the terror group responsible for the death of Italian freelance journalist Enzo Baldoni) which claimed last week that it had launched chemical missiles against Baghdad.
The news content of the al-Qaeda bulletin is even interrupted for an advertising break, which announces the imminent release via the internet of a film entitled Total Jihad. The bulletin concludes with news of Hurricane Katrina, defined as "divine punishment on America" which the presenter says has caused some 900 victims.