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Al Jazeera Arabic slammed for ‘normalizing terrorism’ over Burkina Faso attack coverage

Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera Arabic has triggered an angry backlash over ‘normalizing terrorism.’ (Reuters)
LONDON: Al Jazeera Arabic has come under fire for “normalizing terrorism” in its coverage of an attack on the French embassy in Burkina Faso.
Two attacks in the capital Ouagadougou, one of them targeting the French embassy, left 16 dead and at least 80 wounded last week. An affiliate of Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility.
Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of Cornerstone Global, a management consultancy focused on the Middle East, claims Al Jazeera reporting on the Burkina Faso terrorist attack was skewed.
“Al Jazeera Arabic . . . refuses to call Al-Qaeda “terrorists,” instead says “whom authorities describe as terrorists,” he tweeted. “Common with Al Jazeera normalizing terrorism in eyes of its readers.”
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt cut ties with Qatar last June claiming the country supported international terror networks and that the Doha-based Al Jazeera broadcaster was a propaganda tool of that support.
Qatar and Al Jazeera deny the claims.
Abdellatif El-Menawy, an Egyptian media analyst, said the coverage of the attack served as a reminder that “Aljazeera has always been a platform for Al-Qaeda.”
After the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in the US, Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language channel was accused of being a “mouthpiece” for Osama bin Laden, because of its willingness to air Al-Qaeda video messages and what was perceived by some as an anti-American bias.
El-Menawy said that such content presented as “scoops” in fact underscored its editorial agenda.
He said that the broadcaster had also “made excuses for other terrorist groups,” in Libya, Egypt and Syria.
He added that the Doha-based network avoided describing groups such as Al-Qaeda as terrorists preferring to say that they have “been described as terrorists.”
Aljazeera declined to comment.