March 18, 2010 | Press Release
FDD Applauds Designation of Hamas TV as Terrorist Organization
|Press Release March 18, 2010||
CONTACT: Judy Mayka 202-621-3948
|FDD Applauds Designation of Hamas TV as Terrorist Organization|
Washington, D.C. (March 18, 2010) – The Coalition Against Terrorist Media (CATM), a project of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), applauds the Treasury Department today for designating Hamas's al-Aqsa television as a terrorist organization.
“The Treasury Department deserves praise for adding Hamas's al-Aqsa television station to the list of previously designated media, including Hezbollah's al-Manar and the Iraqi-Syrian al-Zawraa channel,” said FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz, who leads the coalition. “Media technologies — satellite television, radio, and the Internet — have become operational weapons used by radicals to plan, recruit, train, fundraise and incite. Free speech protections may protect the hateful content of their messages, but by using media as direct operational weapons, these terrorist groups cross all free speech red lines. By inciting attacks, by actively recruiting and fundraising and providing operational assistance for terror attacks — al-Aqsa television is doing more than fanning the flames of hatred. It is providing the match, the gasoline, and the arsonist.”
“In addition to narrowing the information gap on terror media, Congress, through seminal pieces of legislation and other legislative initiatives, has played a key role in guiding U.S. policy on terrorist-owned media. We commend elected officials on both sides of the political isle and in both houses of Congress for their continued work in this area,” added Dubowitz.
“To counter the influence of terrorist owned and operated outlets, U.S. policymakers and counterterrorism officials must treat them as indistinguishable from the terrorist organizations that use them,” said Jonathan Schanzer, FDD's Vice President of Research and a former terrorism analyst at the Treasury Department. “All terrorist media assets — whether television, Internet or radio — should be designated if they are used to incite to violence and provide operational support for terrorist attacks. They should also be banned, jammed, or shut down around the world.”
“FDD has been dedicated to addressing the problem of terrorist-controlled media since 2003. This designation of al-Aqsa television is further evidence of the growing recognition that these media outlets should be treated no differently than the terrorist groups that control them,” said FDD President Clifford May.
Fathi Hammad, the former director of al-Aqsa TV, who currently serves as the Hamas interior minister in Gaza and is a former senior member of Hamas's military wing in Gaza stated: “The mission of the Al-Aqsa Television Channel is to inform the world of the strong points about jihadist activity. The message of al-Aqsa Channel is a jihadist message.” The Treasury Department noted that al-Aqsa airs programs and music videos designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood.
FDD's Coalition Against Terrorist Media leads a global campaign to remove terrorist media from the airwaves and from the Internet. Since the inception of this campaign, Hezbollah's al-Manar television has been removed from 10 of 13 global satellite providers, following CATM's support for its designation as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity by the Treasury Department in 2006, the first time a media outlet had received this designation. FDD senior fellow and former Treasury Department official Avi Jorisch exposed the problem of terrorist media in his book Beacon of Hatred and through his efforts in CATM.
In recent years, the coalition has worked with Western advertisers to remove more than $12 million in advertising revenue from al-Manar. The coalition played an active role in winning a strong warning by France's audiovisual authorities against France's Eutelsat for distributing Hamas's al-Aqsa television in Europe.
CATM regularly provides briefings to government and counterterrorism officials on terrorist online media. It provided substantial research and analysis to the German government in advance of its 2008 decision to ban al-Manar under the German constitution.
CATM unites Muslim, Christian, Jewish and secular organizations in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East to remove terrorist media from the airwaves and the Internet. FDD has written extensively on al-Aqsa television and terrorist media. Examples include: The Hamas Network, Wall Street Journal; The Code is Mightier than the Sword, National Post (Canada); Jihad TV in Europe, Wall Street Journal; Turning Off Terrorist Television, Scripps Howard News Service. For more information, analysis and research, please visit the FDD Terrorist Media Project.
|The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute dedicated exclusively to promoting pluralism, defending democratic values, and fighting the ideologies that drive terrorism. Founded shortly after the attacks of 9/11, FDD combines policy research, democracy and counterterrorism education, strategic communications, and investigative journalism in support of its mission. For more information, please visit www.defenddemocracy.org.|