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FBI Chief: New York Times Gave Platform to Terrorists by Quoting Anonymous Source

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 
 
The New York Times’ decision to quote an anonymous source from a terrorist group about the bloody attacks last week in France was in poor taste and provided a platform for violent extremists, FBI Director James Comey said in a sharply worded letter to the Times, the newspaper reports. 

The front page story Thursday quoted a member of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula about the timing of the attacks.

“Your decision to grant anonymity to a spokesperson for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula so he could clarify the role of his group in assassinating innocents, including a wounded police officer, and distinguish it from the assassination of other innocents in Paris in the name of another group of terrorists, is both mystifying and disgusting,” Mr. Comey said in a letter to The Times.

He added: “I fear you have lost your way and urge you to reconsider allowing your newspaper to be used by those who have murdered so many and work every day to murder more.”

Michael Slackman, the international managing editor for The New York Times, stood behind the decision to use anonymity.

“The individual quoted anonymously has for several weeks provided accurate insight and information into the thinking and actions of AQAP,” Mr. Slackman said. “The material was generally central to the news, in one case noting that Al Qaeda and the Islamic State had not jointly planned the attacks in Paris.”


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