Follow up email to Emily Thornberry re: BBC Panorama team embedded with jihadist group

From: Robert Stuart
Sent: Wed 20/09/2017 20:50
Subject: Re: BBC Panorama team embedded with jihadi group co-founded by senior bin Laden courier

Dear Emily

Please could you confirm receipt of my email of 17 August below and advise me of any action you have taken to date.

I would like to know if Ian Pannell and Darren Conway were aware of the connections between Ahrar al-Sham and al-Qaeda*, and of Ahrar al-Sham’s participation, alongside ISIS, in the mass killing and kidnapping of civilians on 5 August 2013, when they travelled with them on 26 August 2013. If they were not, as journalists, why were they not?

Was the BBC Panorama editorial team aware of the arrangements that Pannell and Conway had made with Ahrar al-Sham? If they were not, why not?

Was BBC license fee payers’ money paid to the al-Qaeda affiliated Ahrar al-Sham?

Bearing in mind his links to violent factions in the Syrian conflict and his publicly expressed partisan sentiments, did the BBC’s employment of “Fixer/Translator” Mughira Al Sharif breach the corporation’s Editorial Guidelines?

I look forward to receiving your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Stuart

* In addition to Ahrar al-Sham’s foundational link to “one of Osama bin Laden’s most trusted couriers”, as noted in my blog post of 9 July 2017 at the time Saving Syria’s Children was produced Ahrar al-Sham was, according to Stanford University, “coordinating operations with its closest ally”, the al-Nusra Front. Wikipedia states that the al-Nusra Front, also known as “al-Qaeda in Syria”, was “the official Syrian branch of al-Qaeda until July 2016, when it ostensibly split”.

About Robert Stuart

Researching the 2013 BBC Panorama documentary Saving Syria's Children and associated BBC News reports.

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