January 24, 2005 | Press Release

Groups Join Together to Fight Terrorist Media; First Target: Hezbollah’s Al-Manar Television Station

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Coalition Against Terrorist Media, an organization of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and secular groups, has come together to urge action against terrorist owned and operated media outlets.

The coalition, which was organized by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, is particularly focused on Hezbollah's al-Manar television station.  It has been working informally for more than three months briefing government officials and educating the American people about the threat that al-Manar poses.

The coalition's early efforts have already yielded significant results.  On Dec. 17, 2004, the U.S. State Department added al-Manar to the Terrorist Exclusion List.  Following al-Manar's designation as a terrorist organization, satellite providers stopped distributing it to the United States.

“While we are pleased that al-Manar is no longer available in the U.S, we recognize that much more needs to be done to eliminate al-Manar as a viable operational weapon for Hezbollah,” said Avi Jorisch, senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.  “Hezbollah uses al-Manar to incite violence, recruit suicide bombers, and communicate with its soldiers in the field.  In other words, al-Manar is just one tool, like car bombs or assassinations, by which Hezbollah advances its violent agenda.”

Hezbollah, which until the 9/11 attacks had killed more Americans than any other terrorist organization, is believed to have sleeper cells in place across the United States. “Hezbollah uses al-Manar to recruit terrorist foot soldiers—and those soldiers may one day receive their orders to attack from the same source,” Jorisch said.  “As one high ranking official told me, Al-Manar is meant ‘to help people on the way to committing what you call in the West a suicide mission.'  Those are chilling words—and a threat we must take seriously.”

The coalition's website can be found here.