May 13, 2013 | Press Release

Statement: FDD Welcomes Newseum’s Decision on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV Employees


Washington, DC — FDD welcomes the Newseum’s decision to “re-evaluate” the inclusion of Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama on its Journalists Memorial “pending further investigation.”

The two individuals were employees of Al-Aqsa Television, designated a terrorist entity in 2010 by President Obama’s Treasury Department. Al-Aqsa is an arm of Hamas, also a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” organization which, according to Treasury, “has intentionally killed hundreds of civilians, including U.S. citizens.” Palestinian media have reported that the two men were Hamas operatives as well.

According to a statement issued by Treasury at the time, the United States government does not “distinguish between a business financed and controlled by a terrorist group, such as Al-Aqsa Television, and the terrorist group itself.” The Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence went on to note that Al-Aqsa “airs programs and music videos designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood.”

It has long been the practice of terrorists to disguise themselves as journalists and use journalists as human shields. In 2007, Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by terrorists driving a car marked “TV.” Terrorists also have used Red Crescent “ambulances” to transport combatants and weapons, and established command centers in close proximity to news operations, schools, hospitals and U.N. offices. For example, on November 19, 2012, four senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives took over an office on the second floor of a media building in Gaza where major international news organizations maintained offices.

We commend the Newseum for its decision, and the Obama administration and the Department of the Treasury for its principled efforts to identify and designate such terrorist organizations as Al-Aqsa.

Clifford D. May, FDD President, called today’s decision “a good outcome but the issue remains both important and controversial. We need to think very hard about where to draw the line between legitimate opinion journalists and terrorist propagandists.”

For more information or to speak with one of FDD's scholars, please contact Madeleine Levey Lambert at [email protected] or 202-403-2941.


The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a Washington-based non-profit, non-partisan policy institute dedicated to promoting pluralism, defending democratic values, and fighting the ideologies that drive terrorism.


Palestinian Politics