By Nick Grace
Radio Tajdeed, a satellite program targeting Saudi Arabia and run by a man with extensive al Qaeda ties, is claiming that British authorities have raided its studios. In an exclusive report for Global Crisis Watch (GCW), Egyptian signals monitor Marwan Soliman said on Sunday that the station disappeared from the airwaves on May 6 but returned on May 11 with a repeated announcement of the raid. He also reported hearing audio of the raid broadcast repeatedly on the station.
"The transmission... was offline for almost a couple of days. But suddenly they are back with a station announcement saying that the British police and the MI6 (British intelligence) dashed into their studio while they were having a live program interviewing Dr Mohammad al-Massari, who is the man behind the station. As a matter of fact, you can hear the British police go into the studio, talking in English, and they were trying to tell them 'We are live on the air so can you talk about that later' and stuff like that. Then they say the British police took all the PCs and asked them to stop transmitting so they can get a copy of each and every thing (that was broadcast). That's why they were offline for a couple of days."
Radio Tajdeed, he said, also announced that it would return to its normal broadcast schedule on Sunday at 9 pm Mecca time. According to Soliman, the station did return to the air as promised and broadcast a program called "Tajdeed Forum." Al-Massari said during the program that they would no longer discuss the raid but that British police suspect his group's involvement with the kidnapping of Douglas Wood, an Australian enigneer who was taken hostage in Iraq in late April. A video of Wood, clearly beaten and bruised, was exclusively posted on the Tajdeed Web site message board on May 1. Al-Massari denied involvement with the kidnapping during Tajdeed Forum and instead said that it was a "joke" being pushed by the Saudi government to get the U.K. to silence his voice.
The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that al-Massari's home and office had been raided by police. The report incorrectly stated that Radio Tajdeed had been closed. It had, in fact, been broadcasting a 10-to-15 minute loop recording that aired audio of the raid and extremist Islamist music.
When asked by GCW about the nature of Radio Tajdeed's programming, Soliman said that the content is militant, sympathetic with al Qaeda and "Sheik" Usama bin Laden and that its music clearly promotes violence against kaffir (non-Muslims) and is clearly hate speech.
Freelance Jordanian journalist Tamara Aqrabawe, who also listened to the broadcast, told Clandestine Radio Watch that one song in particular calls for a global Jihad against the West and kaffir (non-Muslims). She said that its lyrics call on Muslim youth to raise weapons and the Koran in this violent struggle.
Radio Tajdeed broadcasts on Eutelsat's Hotbird satellite. Eutelsat, a French company, also broadcast Radio Islah, whose sponsor, Saad al-Faqih was designated by the U.S. and E.U. as a sponsor of terrorism last year, and al-Manar TV, the Hezbollah mouthpiece that was pulled off the air after global condemnation of its hate speech against Jews.
Radio Tajdeed Reportedly Raided by British Authorities
By Nick Grace