The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has labeled Al Jazeera’s Islamabad bureau chief as an al-Qaeda terrorist, according to files leaked by former NSA contractor-turned-defector Edward Snowden.
The Snowden files, which were stolen from the U.S. government and remain classified, shows a 2012 photo of the Al Jazeera chief, Ahmad Muffaq Zaidan, listed as belonging to both al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Zaidan is known for his one-on-one interviews with deceased al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. In 2010, the terror chief referred to the Al Jazeera employee as “brother Ahmad,” Politico reports.
In an interview with the far-left The Intercept, Zaidan denied that he was a member of al-Qaeda.
Al Jazeera also denied that Zaidan had anything to do with the Sunni jihadi terror group, and has said that he will continue in his role as the network’s Islamabad bureau chief.
Al Jazeera has a history rife with accusations that the network has ideologically aligned itself with Sunni terrorist groups.
Following al-Qaeda’s attacks against America on 9/11, Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha, Qatar, honored bin Laden as a hero, according to a New York Times Magazine report.
A New York Times report on Al Jazeera from November 2001 read:
The channel’s graphics assign him [OBL] a lead role: There is bin Laden seated on a mat, his submachine gun on his lap; there is bin Laden on horseback in Afghanistan, the brave knight of the Arab world. A huge, glamorous poster of bin Laden’s silhouette hangs in the background of the main studio set.
In 2013, 22 members of the staff of Al Jazeera Egypt resigned after complaining that the news network reported one-sided information in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist entity that has been designated a terrorist group in many countries.
The Qatar-based network has also developed a reputation for its one-sided reporting concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During the summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, Al Jazeera was frequently accused of advancing the narrative of the jihadi terror group, which is part of the Muslim Brotherhood.