12 Aug. 2007

Wanker Of The Day: Natalie O'Brien

You have to read 8 paras into the front page story in Teh Oz to see this:
Although Abu Walid was a confidant of bin Laden and a key ideologue of the global jihad movement, there is no evidence that he was ever involved in terrorist operations. Before he was detained in Iran, he wrote a series of published articles condemning the extremism and tactics of al-Qa'ida.
This bloke was a journalist and an author, who fled to Iran after 9/11 and apparently has been under arrest there ever since. But O'Brien starts her article by calling him "A member of Osama bin Laden's inner circle and the husband of Australia's most watched woman". And who would that woman be? Move over, Nicole Kidman, it's Rabiyah Hutchinson!
Ms Hutchison's links to extremists, terrorists and terror suspects, as well as her string of marriages, have made her the target of 24-hour surveillance by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. In Sydney's Muslim heartland of Lakemba she is believed to mentor a group of women following the extremist sect Wahabism.
That's right folks - Wahabism, which was once closely associated with the Saudi royal family and is widespread in US-friendly states like Qatar and Kuwait, is now an "extremist sect". Now watch what happens when Al-Jazeera calls the Baptist Church an "extremist sect" of Christianity!

O'Brien does point out that Aussie Mamdouh Habib was arrested and tortured because he was confused with Abu Walid, but she does not mention the even more horrifying story of Khalid El Masri, who suffered the same fate. And she does not explain why Iran, which is supposedly harbouring Al Quaeda terrorists, is actually imprisoning them. Maybe we'll work that out after we bomb them?

The single main source for O'Brien's article is Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside al-Qa'ida, who was also the single main source of O'Brien's an explosive article last week about virtual terrorists in Second Life. In fact, Ms O'Brien seems to have a bit of a history of sensationalized reporting. What a surprise for the Murdoch Press.

PS: Cartoon courtesy Tom the Dancing Bug.

PPS: No, I am not back to regular blogging.