CNN All But Ignores Own Scoop That Al Qaeda 'Appears to Control' More Arab Land Now Than Ever

On January 7, CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen wrote on CNN.com that "al Qaeda appears to control more territory in the Arab world than it has done at any time in its history." However, CNN only mentioned his eye-opening piece once since it was published online.

In contrast to its virtual ignorance of Bergen's article, CNN reported on Dennis Rodman's bizarre visit to North Korea on nine different news hours last Wednesday.

It was Bergen himself who gave CNN's lone citation of the al Qaeda news on Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS, saying of al Qaeda, "Well, they control more territory in the Middle East than they have in their 25-year history."

However, although CNN reported al Qaeda's resurgence in Iraq and Syria multiple times, the network never otherwise repeated Bergen's specific claim that the group holds more land than ever.

Over the past week, CNN only made references to al Qaeda's rising influence in either Iraq or Syria, not their control of an entire region.

Host Jake Tapper reported on Monday that "You'll recall, the last U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq in December. Now it seems we're witnessing a resurgence of al Qaeda in the country."

"When U.S. troops left Iraq they had shattered al Qaeda. But two years later al Qaeda linked fighters are back stronger than ever," anchor Fredricka Whitfield prefaced correspondent Martin Savidge's report on the city of Fallujah on Sunday afternoon's Newsroom.

Anchor Suzanne Malveaux said on Monday's Around the World that recent car bombings and suicide bombings in Iraq "were blamed on insurgents linked with al Qaeda, which has been on the rise ever since U.S. troops pulled out two years ago."

The January 10 edition of The Situation Room aired a story about al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria recruiting Americans helping the rebel cause there to conduct acts of terror back in the U.S.

And on Crossfire on January 7, co-host Newt Gingrich noted that "you have al Qaeda growing in strength and fundamentalist forces growing in strength in Syria."

However, aside from Bergen's mention on January 12, nowhere did CNN cite his claim that al Qaeda is not just on the rise, but "controls more territory" now than ever. 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014