More selective BBC reporting on Middle East Jihadists

Regular visitors to the BBC News website’s Middle East page cannot have failed to notice that in the section titled “Special Reports” it offers audiences “background, features and analysis” on the topic of what it terms the “Islamic State Crisis”.special reports

As readers no doubt recall, a recent feature included in that section was devoted to the topic of mapping and tracking Jihadist violence.  One of the organisations included in that BBC report was Ansar Bayt al Maqdis which operates in the Sinai Peninsula and hence the lack of BBC coverage of recent reports coming out of Egypt concerning that group’s collaboration with elements in the Gaza Strip is notable.

“Egyptian intelligence has specific information on assistance that Sinai terrorists have been receiving from the Gaza Strip. Many activists trained in Gaza, and received arms there that they have been using against Egyptian forces.

That is the source of the urgency around creating the buffer zone [in Rafah – Ed]: the goal is to cut the jihadis off from their Gaza supply train. On Monday Egyptian media reported on a jihadist cell that enjoyed massive help from Hamas, and tried to infiltrate Sinai through tunnels. Most of the tunnels aren’t open, but occasionally smugglers on both sides of the border manage to build a new one. The Egyptian army recently uncovered a 1,700-meters-long passage. […]

Egyptian intelligence also located recently another smuggling route other than the tunnels — the sea. Though there is a fence stretching out to sea along the Sinai-Egypt border, smugglers in Zodiac boats have been bypassing it to reach the beaches on both sides.

Most of these boats are carrying components used to build rocket launchers, and explosive materials. The rockets themselves are also being assembled by the Sinai jihadis.”

On the other hand, there is nothing new about the BBC’s failure to join the dots linking Sinai-based Jihadists to elements in the Gaza Strip.

Similarly, the BBC has shown no interest to date in reporting the recently publicized apprehension of a terror cell with ideological links to ISIS in the Palestinian Authority controlled city of Hebron.

“Security forces have arrested a group of three men in the West Bank city of Hebron believed to be ideologically affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist group

The cell members were arrested in November 2014 by operatives of the Shin Bet security service and stand accused of launching an unsuccessful attack against IDF soldiers and conspiring to kidnap and kill civilians and military personnel in the West Bank, according to a press release issued Monday by the security apparatus.”

Jihadist extremism and violence is of course by no means limited to Syria and Iraq and in order to fulfil its remit of informing audiences of international affairs, the BBC’s coverage of that topic cannot neglect other geographical areas in the region.  

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