Media Ignore Report on Al Qaeda Suicide Bombers Heading to America

ABC’s Brian Ross broke an exclusive story Monday, first at his blog “The Blotter,” and then on “World News with Charles Gibson,” concerning teams of well-trained al Qaeda suicide bombers supposedly heading to the United States and Europe.

This report included video-clips of a Taliban “graduation” ceremony (video available here), with still-pictures of the event available here.

Yet, despite the seriousness of this report, LexisNexis and Google News searches identified few media outlets covered the story.

As most people likely didn’t hear about this given the paltry amount of coverage, what follows is a full transcript of the segment (h/t NB reader Gil Andrews):

CHARLES GIBSON, ANCHOR (ABC NEWS)

(Off-camera) We're gonna turn next to a sobering development on the war in terror.

GRAPHICS: MAP OF AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN BORDER

CHARLES GIBSON (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) ABC News has obtained pictures from Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, of a Taliban graduation. Young foot soldiers being sent in to battle against the US and other western nations.

GRAPHICS: TRAINING FOR TERROR

CHARLES GIBSON (ABC NEWS)

(Off-camera) The tape suggests that five years after the US military removed the Taliban from power, it is far from powerless. Here's our chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross.

GRAPHICS: ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE

BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) The ceremony was held just nine days ago in a large field at the end of a dirt road. A Pakistani journalist says he was invited to attend and take pictures as some 300 recruits, including some very young boys, were supposedly sent off on suicide missions. The Taliban military commander, Mansoor Dadullah, whose brother was killed by the US last month, arrived in what appeared to be a local police car. Surrounded by a heavy guard, Dadullah then delivered his version of a commencement address, a warning to the west. 'Americans, Canadians, British and Germans come here to Afghanistan from far away places," he said.

BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) 'Why shouldn't we go after them? We should perform suicide attacks and, God willing," he said," destroy their establishments in their own country." Instead of applause, the recruits waved white flags, a Taliban symbol.

RICHARD CLARKE (FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICIAL)

It doesn't take many who are willing to actually do it and able to slip through the net and get in to the United States or England to cause a lot of damage.

BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) The recruits appeared to be organized in teams or brigades. Each assigned to a different country. This team was described as being responsible for suicide attacks on America. This group was being sent to Canada. These men were described as going to Germany. The man heading the British attack seem to know English.

TALIBAN MEMBER (MALE)

Let me say something about why we are going along with my team to tell a suicide attack in Britain.

BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)

(Voiceover) After all of the speeches, there was a reception line with the military commander Dadullah greeting and hugging the men as they passed through the line, many with their faces showing, faces which, no doubt, will now be of great interest to US and European intelligence agencies.

BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)

(Off-camera) A US intelligence official said tonight the event appears to be another cog in al Qaeda's increasingly sophisticated propaganda campaign. He dismissed it as Jihadist bravado.

CHARLES GIBSON (ABC NEWS)

(Off-camera) Well, a couple of things occur as you see this. Number one, is it released for any other purpose than to - try to scare people, I guess, in the west? And secondly, is there any evidence that any of these people have actually been dispatched in the countries involved?

BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)

(Off-camera) Well, clearly, clearly, Charlie, it's a propaganda event. We could see on the tape other cameramen - roaming around from the al Qaeda propaganda operation. But the fact is, last week, Pakistan announced it picked up three foreign militants crossing the border. Two of them had German passports with documents and radios and equipments suggesting they were on their way to Europe.

CHARLES GIBSON (ABC NEWS)

(Off-camera) All right. Our chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross, thanks.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.