A useful reminder that the tabloid media (in fact, most corporate press since 9/11) like to smear “terrorists” first and ask questions later:
Express Newspapers apologised in the high court today and agreed to pay substantial damages to four trustees of a UK charity after falsely claiming it had links to an al-Qaida commander.
The trustees of the Bolton-based Amanat Charity Trust, more commonly known as the Ummah Welfare Trust, sued for libel over a story published on the express.co.uk website in December 2009 headlined “Jet bomb ordered by 9/11 spirtual leader”.
In the online article it was falsely alleged that the charity, which provides emergency relief in developing countries, had links with Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaida commander who is said to have been the spiritual leader of those responsible for the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks and involved in the attempt to blow up a passenger jet over Detroit on Christmas day last year.
The article, which was removed from the Express website on 19 January, also falsely claimed al-Awlaki was one of the charity’s “favourite speakers”.