December 20, 2004 | Press Release

Terrorist Designation Drives Al-Manar from U.S. Airwaves

Washington, Dec 20, 2004 -The Coalition Against Terrorist Media, a project of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, welcomed news that satellite providers have removed Hezbollah’s al-Manar television from the U.S. market. This action follows the State Department’s Dec. 17 designation of the station as a terrorist organization. “Ending al-Manar’s access to American living rooms is an important victory against the communications arm of one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist organizations,” said Avi Jorisch, senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and executive director of the Coalition Against Terrorist Media. “But there is much more that can and should be done to prevent al-Manar’s from inciting violence.” For months before the state department’s designation, Jorisch and the Coalition Against Terrorist Media met with government officials and appeared in the media numerous times about al-Manar. The coalition includes Muslim, Christian, Jewish and secular organizations opposed to the use of al-Manar and other terrorist media outlets to incite violence. According to published reports, Globecast, a French-owned satellite provider, and Intelsat, a Barbados-based company, removed al-Manar from U.S. airwaves immediately following the state department’s designations. The Coalition Against Terrorist Media noted that additional, more stringent steps must be taken to prevent al-Manar from inciting violence, including:

•Having the U.S. Department of Treasury designate al-Manar as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity. This would enable the government to freeze financial assets tied to the station or to individuals or organizations that associate with it, and to sanction foreign banks that provide services to the station, affecting its ability to broadcast overseas.
•Ending reports from al-Manar’s Washington correspondent.
•Applying diplomatic pressure to international satellite providers, including Saudi-owned Arabsat and French-owned Globecast, to limit al-Manar’s ability to broadcast to other regions of the world.
•Applying public pressure to companies that do business with al-Manar, including ISP providers who are currently hosting al-Manar and Hezbollah sites.
“Terrorist media presents a real threat to the United States and our democratic allies,” Jorisch said. “If we are serious about defeating terrorism, we must deal with this menace.”