Ariel Cohen on Al-Jazeera at Tech Central Station:
While the West is basking in the tunes of Christmas carols, a different tune is being played by the two leading Jihadi TV channels, al Jazeera and al Manar. The radical Sunni al Jazeera, broadcasting from Qatar, the flagship of anti-Western Islamist propaganda, is funded and tolerated by the Qatari royal family, reportedly to the tune of $30 million a year. It has become the main conduit of Al Qaeda tapes to the Arab and Muslim world, suggesting an exclusive arrangement with the elusive jihadi leaders Usama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri.
Al Manar, a Shi’i satellite and cable operation out of Lebanon, belongs to Hizballah and funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the tune of $15 million a year, and is even more anti-American in its pitch. Both channels are available world wide, including the US, via satellite. Canadian cable operators are now offering al Jazeera and al Manar via easily obtained and cheap subscriptions.
Robert Spencer, Director of the NGO Jihad Watch says that al Jazeera provides foreign-based terrorists with a source of news, encouragement and instruction. It serves radical Muslims as a useful recruiting tool. For jihadist recruiters, al Jazeera is like an electronic madrassa beaming the teachings and perspective of radical Islam into the living rooms of Muslims around the world twenty four hours a day, Spencer says.
Nor is Al-Jazeera the only one. Websites doing similar work abound.