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CNN Cover Up: Did They Collaborate With An Al Qaeda Member?

 CNN Hired Alleged Al-Qaeda Propagandist For Documentary, Is This Another CNN Cover Up?


In June 2017, an American media activist living in rebel-held Syrian territory named Bilal Abdul Kareem expressed frustration with a former employer. This former employer was CNN. In the previous year (2016), CNN had contracted Kareem to film a documentary on the current state of Syria. Kareem described how he and his media company, On The Ground News, had been contracted by CNN to film the documentary “Undercover in Syria”. But who is Bilal Abdul Kareem and is this another CNN cover up?


What was Kareem’s complaint? The documentary in which he provided on the ground footage of the Syrian war did not give him enough credit. He stated:

“This Undercover in Syria, you can Google it — it won the prestigious Peabody Award, and it won the prestigious Overseas Press Club Award, which are basically the highest awards in journalism for international reporting. Now, [CNN] barely mentioned my name! I’m telling you, somehow CNN must have forgotten that I was the one that filmed it, I guess they forgot that.”


Why would CNN barely mention the biggest contributor to this documentary? According to a recent article by Alternet, it is to cover the tracks that they hired a top Al Qaeda propagandist to create a biased documentary. That Al Qaeda Propagandist is Kareem.

“This was with CNN and their correspondent Clarissa Ward, which I have big-time respect for, big-time respect as a journalist, as a person,” Abdul Kareem remarked.

Clarissa Ward is the CNN reporter that Kareem took into territory controlled by various terrorists groups.


The Alternet article alleges Kareem is an established English-language propagandist for al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra. Kareem’s group, with other extremist groups, are fighting the Syrian government. There was even a Saudi Arabian news outlet Al Arabiya that reported on June 7 that Abdul Kareem officially joined al-Nusra in 2012


Kareem denied this accusation and threatened legal action against the Saudi Arabian news outlet. “I am not, nor have I ever been, nor do I need to be a part of Al-Qaeda. I don’t have any need for that,”. He noted that he is considering legal action against Al Arabiya for its report.


One of Kareem’s closest colleagues has also been accused of membership in Syria’s al-Qaeda franchise. Akif Razaq, an employee of Abdul Kareem’s online media group, was recently stripped of British citizenship for his alleged involvement with al-Nusra. A notice presented by British authorities to Razaq’s family in Birmingham accused him of being “aligned with an al-Qaeda-aligned group”. They declared that he “presents a risk to the national security of the United Kingdom.”


Even Syrian rebels say Kareem is a propagandist. Abdullah Abu Azzam, an activist affiliated with the rebel group Kataib Thawar al-Sham, was contacted by Alternet. Azzam told Alternet that Abdul Kareem was a well known member of the group. Fighters in Thawar al-Sham, according to Abu Azzam, refer to Abdul Kareem as the “American mujahid” (mujahid is Arabic for jihadist).

Abu Azzam claimed Kareem had used his videography skills to make a series of YouTube videos for the official account of Jaish al-Fatah, the Salafi-jihadist fighting coalition led by al-Nusra. He said that Kareem worked directly with the late public relations director for Jaish al-Fateh, Ammar Abu al-Majid. For these videos, he said Abdul Kareem used the alias, Abu Osama.


The evidence suggests that a CNN reporter did work in tandem with an al Qaeda affiliate member. This makes sense then that they are trying to erase any connection with Kareem. If CNN stands behind Kareem as a valid source, then why not clear up the confusion and controversy? Even if CNN couldn’t confirm who he is, why did they take the chance of working with someone so controversial?

Why do you think CNN is covering their footprints after working with Bilal Abdul Kareem? Is there another CNN cover  up you know of that we should report on? To learn more about Syria and the real reasons for US involvement, please watch our videos: “Syria: It’s All About The Pipelines”  and “2 Minute News: Syria 6 Things They Aren’t Telling You”. Also check out our section devoted to exposing the Syrian White Helmets as ISIS operatives. Please comment below. There is a lot more compelling evidence in the Alternet article. For the original Alternet article click here.


Orane Sharpe

Orane Sharpe is one of the co-founders of Citizen Truth. Originally from Jamaica, Orane is passionate about foreign policy and the often disastrous effects of reckless interventionist policies. Orane largely works on Citizen Truth's video content as a producer and host.

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