Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Associated Press: Gotcha!

Flopping Aces is covering a story that may do to Associated Press (AP) what the smoky Beirut photos did to Reuters.

AP has been using an Iraqi policeman called Captain Jamil Hussein as a single source for reporting the atrocity of the horrific burning of six Sunni worshippers using kerosene, and the burning of four mosques.

This story was run by many MSM outlets including Jerusalem Post:

Revenge-seeking Shi'ite militiamen grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive near an Iraqi army post. The soldiers did not intervene, police Capt. Jamil Hussein said.

The savage revenge attack for Thursday's slaughter of 215 people in the Shi'ite Sadr City slum occurred as members of the Mahdi Army militia burned four mosques and several homes while killing 12 other Sunni residents in the once-mixed Hurriyah neighborhood, Hussein said.

Gunmen loyal to radical anti-American Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr began taking over the neighborhood this summer and a majority of its Sunni residents already had fled.

The militiamen attacked and burned the Ahbab al-Mustafa, Nidaa Allah, al-Muhaimin and al-Qaqaqa mosques in the rampage that did not end until American forces arrived, Hussein said.

The gunmen attack with rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns and automatic rifles. Residents said militiamen prevented them from entering burned structures to take away the bodies of victims.

The Shi'ite-dominated police and Iraqi military in the area stood by, both residents and Hussein said.

Later Friday, militiamen raided al-Samarraie Sunni mosque in the el-Amel district and killed two guards, police 1st. Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razaq said. Two other Sunni mosques in west Baghad also were attacked, police said.

The Sydney Morning Herald also got in on the action:

Revenge-seeking militiamen seized six Sunnis as they left prayers and burned them alive with kerosene in a savage new twist to the brutality shaking Baghdad today.

The attack in the Iraqi capital came a day after suspected Sunni insurgents killed more than 200 people in Baghdad's main Shi'ite district.

Iraqi soldiers at a nearby army post failed to intervene in yesterday's assault by suspected members of the Shi'ite Mehdi Army militia or subsequent attacks that killed at least 19 other Sunnis, including women and children, in the same area, the volatile Hurriyah district in north-west Baghdad, said police Captain Jamil Hussein.


In Hurriyah, the rampaging militiamen also burned and blew up four mosques and torched several homes in the district, Hussein said.
To their credit, SMH did put this "fake but accurate" disclaimer in their article:
Such claims cannot be verified but speak to the deep fear that grips Baghdad, where retaliation has become a part of daily life.
Using Googles News Search, other MSM outlets covering this include Chicago Tribune, Guardian (UK) and Scotsman.

It turns out that Captain Jamil Hussein is not an official spokesman for the Iraqi Police.

In fact, the Iraqi Interior Ministry has confirmed there is no such policeman as Captain Jamil Hussein.

And there is growing doubt on the veracity of the above atrocities.

Read it all here, as well as some coverage here and here. It's pretty damning for AP.

And the MSM outlets that use AP.

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