Nothing we didn’t know already, but it’s good to have more confirmation. From AFP, with thanks to Ted Robertson:
Iraqi Defence Minister Hazem Shaalan branded the popular Arabic-language satellite television Al-Jazeera a “channel of terrorism”, in a newspaper interview. That brought a sharp reaction from the broadcaster, which expressed its “utter outrage” at what it said was an “unsubstantiated allegation”.
“Al-Jazeera is a channel of terrorism. That is clear and we say openly and without hesitation: Al-Jazeera is a channel of terrorism,” Shaalan was quoted by the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat as saying.
The Qatar-based station, which has been banned from reporting in Iraq since early August, has frequently been accused by US and Iraqi authorities of inciting violence by screening “exclusive” videotapes from Islamic militants, including Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Despite the ban, the 24-hour news channel is often first to announce breaking news from the war-ravaged country, including kidnappings and beheadings of foreign hostages as well as statements from militant groups.
Shaalan charged that Iraqi “terrorist” Omar Hadeed, who he alleged has links to Al-Qaeda, is a brother of Al-Jazeera’s office director in Iraq, Hamed Hadeed.
He also said the journalist was receiving videos showing beheadings in the restive Iraqi city of Fallujah from his brother.
Al-Jazeera has denied that its Iraq director has any relationship with Omar Hadeed.