BBC still has not updated Ansar Bayt al Maqdis profile to include terror designation

The lead story on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on the morning of May 23rd ran under the headline “Sinai militant group leader killed” with the sub-heading:

“Shadi al-Menei, the head of Sinai Islamist militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, has been killed, Egyptian security officials say.”

Among the ‘related stories’ offered to visitors to the Middle East page was one titled “Profile: Egypt’s militant Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group”.

ABM art on hp

The article itself, titled “Egypt: Sinai Islamist leader Shadi al-Menei shot dead“, also includes a link to the same profile report (compiled by BBC Monitoring) in an insert titled “Who are Ansar Beit al-Maqdis?

ABM art insert box

Unfortunately – as we pointed out here over a month ago – that profile report has not been amended since its initial publication in January and hence is no longer up to date.

“Since the beginning of April 2014 Ansar Bayt al Maqdis has been declared a proscribed terrorist organization by the UK government (see page 5) and designated as a foreign terrorist organization and a specially designated global terrorist entity by the US State Department. In addition, an Egyptian court ruled on April 14th that the group is a terrorist organization.”

The same insert informs readers that the group:ABM art

“Has claimed responsibility for deadly attacks around Egypt, and rocket attacks on Israel”.

In fact, ABM has also claimed responsibility for another terrorist attack against Israel, besides several instances of missile fire, and is suspected of involvement in an additional attack.

“In 2012, the group claimed responsibility for the deadly cross-border attack in September that year in Israel, in which three terrorists, wearing explosive belts and armed with RPG launchers, attacked a group of IDF soldiers securing civilian contractors who were working on the Israel-Egypt fence. IDF soldier Netanel Yahalomi was killed in the attack. The three terrorists were killed in the ensuing gunfight with soldiers.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was also reportedly involved in the sophisticated, multi-pronged August 2011 attack on Highway 12 near Israel’s border with Egypt, which killed a total of eight Israelis.”

The BBC, however, continues to ignore the terror designations of Ansar Bayt al Maqdis, describing it as “a militant group” in this report’s opening lines and Middle East page header.  

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