January 14, 2008 | Press Release

CATM Praises Thaicom for Ceasing to Broadcast Hezbollah’s Terror TV

Washington, Jan 15, 2008

CATM Praises Thaicom for Ceasing to Broadcast Hezbollah's Terror TV

Coalition also applauds USG for designating Al-Zawra TV as a terrorist entity

Washington, DC (January 15, 2008) — The Coalition Against Terrorist Media (CATM) praised the Thailand-based satellite company Thaicom for ceasing its broadcast of Al-Manar Television, owned by Hezbollah, which the US government designated a terrorist organization in 2006.

CATM played an active role in encouraging the U.S. Department of Treasury to designate Al-Manar as a terrorist entity, the first time that a media outlet had been so designated. In addition to openly broadcasting incitement to violence and recruiting terrorists, Al-Manar was found to provide “operational surveillance” to Hezbollah.

CATM also lauded the U.S. Department of Treasury for following this important precedent and designating as a terrorist entity the Syria-based Al-Zawra television station.

“Thaicom did the right thing by quickly realizing its relationship with Al-Manar could not be seen merely as a business transaction,” said Mark Dubowitz, co-manager of the Coalition Against Terrorist Media. “In today's world, corporations have global responsibilities besides earning a few extra dollars for their shareholders. Thaicom should be praised for reversing course, following in the footsteps of other responsible satellite companies.”

To date, Eutelsat, Globecast, Asiasat, New Skies Satellite, Intelsat, Hispasat, and TARBS have ceased broadcasting Al-Manar. Only Saudi-based Arabsat and Egypt-based Nilesat still carry Al-Manar.

In designating al Zawra and its owner Mish'an Al Jaburi, along with three other individuals, the Treasury Department said that “the individuals and entity designated commit, direct, support, or pose a significant risk of committing acts of violence against Iraqi citizens, Iraqi government officials, and Coalition Forces.”

Referring to the designations, Dubowitz said, “The coalition believes that these terrorist media outlets cross all red lines with respect to free speech and that those who provide material support to these terrorist stations should be punished. These outlets were established by Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda with the explicit goal of inciting supporters to murder Americans and others fighting the scourge of radical Islam, including courageous Muslim reformers.”

The designation prohibits all transactions between the designees and any U.S. person and freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

The Treasury Department notes that Al-Jaburi “provides financial, material, and technical support for acts of violence that threaten the peace and stability of Iraq. Al-Jaburi reportedly agreed to broadcast open-coded messages to the Sunni terrorist group the Islamic Army of Iraq.” It says that Al-Zawra, “which has received financing from Al-Qaeda, is also used as a venue to broadcast graphic videos of attacks against U.S. Additionally, Al-Zawra broadcast recruitment videos for Al-Qaeda Iraq's Abu Bakr Al-Sadiq Al-Salafi Battalion.”

“All this illustrates what Al Qaeda-funded organizations are doing with their media properties,” said CATM.

In November 2006, Al-Zawra's Iraq office was closed by the Government of Iraq for airing programs inciting violence. Al-Jaburi is said to have fled Iraq to Syria for embezzling government funds and supporting Iraq-based insurgents.

The Coalition Against Terrorist Media is comprised of Muslim, Christian, Jewish and secular organizations working to prevent terrorist media from spreading incitement to violence through the airwaves and on the Internet. It is a project of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (www.defenddemocracy.org).

For more information, please contact Brian Wise at (202) 207-3698 or visit CATM's website at www.StopTerroristMedia.org