Monday, April 22, 2013


On April 22, CBC online had the following headline and sub-headline:

Alleged terror plot targeting Via train thwarted

Police say 2 accused were getting 'direction and guidance' from al-Qaeda elements in Iran

Perhaps the police person quoted did make this claim, but it actually does not make sense. Al-Qaeda is extremely anti-Shia, and Iran is Shia. Al-Qaeda is essentially antagonistic to Iran. There is no evidence that al-Qaeda ever operates out of Iran. Some al-Qaeda people consider Shia Muslims as worse than atheists, and worthy of death. There is virtually no grounds for cooperation between them.

If someone had made the unlikely claim that some criminals were getting direction and guidance from atheists in the Vatican, it is unlikely CBC would take it as credible enough to put it unchallenged in a headline. But CBC, never wanting to miss an opportunity to demonize Iran, put this unlikely claim about al-Qaeda in Iran in a headline.

Several hours later this article appeared:

Iran likely unaware of al-Qaeda's Canadian plotting, security expert says

RCMP allege al-Qaeda in Iran supported plot to attack train

Again they are putting the RCMP's questionable allegation in a headline. It would be nice if the RCMP and CBC could cite even one piece of evidence for this allegation.

The article which is supposedly meant to provide context to this claim of al Qaeda activities in Iran fails once to mention the fundamental antagonism between Sunni extremists and Shia Iran, and the depth of animosity held by extremists Sunnis against Shia Muslims. This is the most salient fact, but it is absent and instead there are a lot of irrelevant details of superficial contacts between al Qaeda and Iran largely resulting from the former fleeing as refugees from Afghanistan.

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