Monday, May 31, 2010

Reuters "Factbox" sanitizes Turkish IHH; misses a few facts

In one of its notorious "Factbox" formats, Reuters paints a rosy portrait of the Turkish NGO, the IHH, which sponsored and participated in the flotilla bound for Gaza:
The Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) is an Islamic charity group that was formed to provide aid to Bosnian Muslims in the mid-1990s. It has been involved in aid missions in Pakistan, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Indonesia, Iraq, Palestinian territories and other places, according to Turkish media.
The only indication of IHH activities which might suggest an agenda beyond the provision of humanitarian aid comes in this note about one of its members:
Izzet Sahin, who according to his website works for the IHH's foreign affairs department, was arrested by Israeli security forces in April on suspicion of aiding Palestinian organizations banned by Israel, Israel's Shin Bet domestic security service said earlier this month.
Courtesy of Joel Leyden, here is some additional info about the IHH which the "fact-finders" at Reuters appear to have missed:
In a working paper for The Danish Institute for International Studies, an independent international affairs research institution of Denmark, terrorism analyst and expert witness for the prosecution in U.S. terrorism trials, Evan Kohlmann details IHH's extensive affiliation with the Islamic terror network, including: explicit ties to Hamas, al-Qaida, as well other militant Islamic organizations based in Algeria, Libya, Turkey.
Even in Turkey there have been hostile exchanges between the IHH and the Turkish government, who had previously made efforts to combat home-grown terrorism. In December 1997, Turkey authorities began a criminal investigation into IHH when sources revealed to them that the IHH had purchased semi-automatic weapons from Islamic terror groups. Their Istanbul bureau was thoroughly searched and the local leaders arrested. Inside the bureau an array of items were found: "firearms, explosives, bomb-making instructions and a jihadi flag." After analyzing seized IHH documents, the Turkish authorities determined that the arrested leaders had been on their way to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya.
Here is Evan Kohlmann's report.

1 comment:

  1. I see the Wikipedia entry for insani yardim vakfi has been sanitised a few minutes ago, with all negative parts removed.