Dear Mr. Donahue
On Friday night you interviewed Rohan Gunaratna, author of INSIDE
You presented him as an expert on Al-Qaida and allowed him to propound
theory that "40 to 50" al-Qaida cells exist WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.
You have done a great disservice to your viewers by not telling them
Gunaratna. All you had to do was to turn to the back cover jacket of
INSIDE AL-QAIDA and read what it states: He is "honorary fellow at the
International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism in
Thus he has been funded and employed by Israel which is at war with the
He received this fellowship to work at the cutting edge of Israel's
propaganda machine which steadily churns out hate against the Muslim
world in the name of "fighting terrorism."
You had a highly prejudiced propagandist on your show and you
(conveniently?) forgot to tell your audience of the man's extreme bias.
If you have opened and read his book, you would know that it can in no
way be described either as accurate or scholarly or well-researched.
I'll give you two examples which indicate that Gunaratna is neither
accurate nor a credible researcher:
1. You would perhaps agree that the trial of
Dr. Omar 'Abdel Rahman,
spiritual leader of
al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya, has been the most important trial in
of an Islamic scholar of the highest rank. This is
what Gunaratna says about Dr. 'Abdel Rahman: "He was found guilty of
the murder of Rabbi Kahane." (page 102 of INSIDE AL-QAIDA).
Obviously Gunaratna has done no research on this central trial
otherwise he would know that Dr. 'Abdel Rahman WAS NEITHER TRIED FOR
NOR FOUND GUILTY of the murder of Rabbi Kahane. [See The 'ABDEL RAHMAN
2. As far as Gunaratna's research abilities are concerned, his work is
literally third rate. For instance, he repeatedly quotes Peter Bergen
to support the stories he tells about Al-Qaida. Bergen himself had very
original research of his own. By repeating Bergen's second hand stuff,
Gunaratna shows how little, if any, research he has done.
have indeed become incestuous in their writings, unabashadely quoting each
other to make a point.
INSIDE AL-QAIDA is no more than a mish mash of quotes from newspaper
stories and excerpts from books and articles by other writers.[He quotes
"prove" that 80% of the mosques in USA are controlled by militants!]
Gunaratna seems to have put one over you by claiming to be an expert
On the other hand, Mr. Donahue, I can't believe that you are all that
innocent and naive. Is it a coincidence that the day after you told the
world, with Gunarantna's help, that "al-Qaida cells exist within the
"cell" was duly discovered in Lackawanna, New York. Six U.S. citizens
were arrested and denounced as "terrorists" wihout evidence and without
pretense of due process of law.
According to the U.S., these six citizens, of Yemeni origin, were being
investigated for the last six months. Were you tipped off that the
the six men being arrested as an "Al-Qaida cell" was going to be staged
on Saturday and you went ahead and helped the government by coming up, on
Friday, with your "expert" who claims that there are "40 to 50" such
cells in the U.S.?
Come now, Mr. Donahue, are you working with the intelligence agencies?
My suspicion may not be baseless because only a few weeks back, another
talk show host on
Mr. Nachman, let slip, while interviewing an
Israeli, that he (Nachman) knew that the interviewee was an Israeli
What's going on here, Mr. Donahue? Is MSNBC a conduit for Israeli
(Dr.) Kaukab Siddique
2002-09-15 Sun 09:47ct