BBC cheek by jowl with ISIS: email to Emily Thornberry MP

From: Robert Stuart
Sent: Sun 17/12/2017 14:10
Subject: BBC cheek by jowl with ISIS

Dear Emily

I was disappointed by your response to my concerns about BBC reporter Ian Pannell and cameraman Darren Conway’s having apparently entered into a business relationship with al-Qaeda and ISIS linked jihadi group Ahrar al-Sham during the production of the 2013 Panorama special Saving Syria’s Children.

I felt that Jeremy Hayes’ reply to you evaded this matter by diverting into separate concerns I have previously raised with the BBC over this programme.

In the absence of your support, I have reported Pannell and Conway to the National Counter Terrorism Security Office.

I now wish to make you aware of evidence that Pannell and Conway were working in close proximity to members of ISIS during the filming of Saving Syria’s Children.

As detailed here, an ambulance plainly displaying the ISIS flag was among vehicles which transported the alleged victims of an alleged incendiary attack to Atareb Hospital, Aleppo on 26 August 2013. The ambulance and two militarily attired and armed occupants were filmed at close quarters by Conway.

The ambulance was carrying a female alleged victim of the alleged incendiary attack. Conway filmed this woman being transported from the rear of the vehicle by five men, including the two men in combat fatigues who had travelled with her.

One of the “stars” of Saving Syria’s Children, Dr Saleyha Ahsan (who has more recently presented the BBC series “Trust Me I’m a Doctor”), has stated on Twitter that she carried the woman through the hospital. If so, this would appear to indicate that Dr Ahsan was in direct contact with the ISIS militants.

There are clearly very many troubling questions surrounding Saving Syria’s Children. How did Pannell and Conway come to be cheek by jowl, not only with al-Qaeda linked jihadis Ahrar al-Sham, but also with ISIS? Were western government agencies involved in the programme’s production and funding? If so, to what end? Were all the scenes transmitted genuine?

Award-winning US online magazine Paste has described Saving Syria’s Children as “a sham”. Tellingly, despite being informed of this the BBC has not, to my knowledge, chosen to pursue legal action against the publication.

A public enquiry into Saving Syria’s Children is now essential.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Stuart

Address and telephone number supplied

About Robert Stuart

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

4 responses to “BBC cheek by jowl with ISIS: email to Emily Thornberry MP

  1. James Graham

    Thanks a million Robert. I don’t know how anyone of fairly sound mind and body can look at this and not see an old blackleg tape of “The Sting.” The cheques are cashing for sure. Kerching! Kerching!

  2. Colin Smith

    Brilliant! Beautifully crafted and weighted response. An important plank in the edifice of dissent and scepticism. Waiting for the reply.

    • Thanks Colin. Sadly, after more than four months, it’s clear there will be no reply from Emily Thornberry.

      • one feels Emily has a calculated long-term career strategy which she would not like to compromise by making enemies of those who might one day help her further up the greasy pole. of course this is merely a rather superficial speculation on my part. she is not without ‘political talent’, and there were many career pragmatists of that ilk in the broad church of ‘old Labour’, whose spectrum embraced on the one wing cryptocommunists with distinct Komintern sympathies and on the other, suave atlanticists who would feel at home at a CIA cocktail party in Langley, with many shades in between – each compromised in some way or another by sectional loyalties, whether divulged or not. In this sense Labour was more representative than the Tories of the complex tensions in the geopolitical conjuncture that shaped the Cold War Years. The common factor was that support for Israel was a sine qua non for advancement to cabinet level in either party. the built-in right-wing bias emanated from a profound mistrust of Labour in the military and intelligence communities, a mistrust that was disseminated and amplified through the interlocking network of establishment institutions amongst whom might be honorably mentioned in despatches freemasonry and the old-boy network of London clubs.

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