A government agency is sending anti-Al-Qaeda propaganda to news organisations in a bid to damage the global terror network’s “brand”, The Guardian reported Tuesday.
Citing a secret Home Office document it had seen, the daily said counter-terrorism experts are also planning to use websites in a bid to “channel messages through volunteers in Internet forums”.
According to the paper, the report compiled by the Research, Information and Communication Unit (RICU) and dated July 21, 2008, said: “We are pushing this material to UK media channels, e.g. a BBC radio programme exposing tensions between AQ (Al-Qaeda) leadership and supporters.”
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“And a restricted working group will communicate niche messages through media and non-media.”
It advises officials to “avoid suggesting that AQ is no longer a threat”.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
“We are not claiming victory over AQ. We are stressing their declining support.”
The dossier, which is reportedly being sent to British embassies and consulates around the world, comprises “material” from a variety of news sources — from Middle Eastern and North African news outlets to the New York Times and Newsweek magazine.
The news reports are included to show condemnation of Al-Qaeda from a range of individuals, from leading Islamic scholars to American counter-terrorism analysts.