YouTube Removes ‘al-Qaeda Videos’ as US, UK Move to Censor Internet

November 5th, 2010 - by admin

Al Jazeera – 2010-11-05 00:18:30

Video: Anwar Al Awlaki: Message To All Muslims
(December 5, 2009)

EAW believes the recent US action to order specific content removed from the public forum constitutes a threat to the freedom of information and is counterproductive to addressing the problem of international terrorism. In order to know why terrorism exists, it is necessary to be able to monitor the declarations of opposing forces, to better understand the motivations that feed the engines of terror.

Anwar Al Awlaki: Message To All Muslims “MUST SEE” from The Revival Of Islam on Vimeo.

Despite his recent celebrity in the Western media, most Americans have probably never heard any of the videos posted by Anwar al-Awlaki. YouTube’s recent decision to permit Washington and London to dictate what will and will not be posted online has prompted EAW to take a first look at a typical broadcast from the American-born cleric.

We offer this video in the service of full disclosure and in the belief that limiting the public’s access to information is a mechanism of thought control, part of the process Noam Chomsky has called the “manufacturing of consent.”
— Gar Smith, co-founder, EAW

YouTube Removes ‘al-Qaeda Videos’ as US, UK Move to Censor Internet
Al Jazeera

(November 4, 2010) — YouTube, the video-sharing website has begun removing clips of speeches by an American-born Yemeni religious leader who US authorities believe is a leading figure in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The move by YouTube, first reported by the New York Times newspaper on Wednesday, comes after a “British official” and a US politician put pressure on the Google-owned website.

Anthony Weiner, a congressman from New York, sent YouTube a letter last week calling al-Awlaki the “bin Laden of the internet,” referring to Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda founder.

Weiner listed hundreds of al-Awlaki’s videos that appear on YouTube, writing: “There is no reason we should give killers like al-Awlaki access to one of the world’s largest bully pulpits so they can inspire more violent acts within our borders, or anywhere else in the world.”

Al-Awlaki appears in more than 700 videos which have received a combined 3.5 million views, Weiner wrote.

A YouTube spokeswoman told the Times that the site had removed videos that violated guidelines against showing “dangerous or illegal activities such as bomb-making, hate speech, and incitement to commit violent acts”, or that came from accounts “registered by a member of a designated foreign terrorist organisation” or used to promote such a group’s interests.

But as of Thursday, there were still hundreds of videos featuring speeches by al-Awlaki on YouTube.

Al-Awlaki gained US media attention after a Muslim army major who had communicated with the cleric shot to death 13 people and wounded 30 others at the Fort Hood military base in Texas.
Al-Awlaki also reportedly had contact with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian man who attempted to blow up a passenger aeroplane over the US on December 25.

In May, a woman in Britain who had reportedly watched dozens of hours of al-Awlaki’s videos on YouTube was sentenced to life in prison for stabbing a British politician, The Times said.

Weiner said YouTube’s first response to his letter had been merely “bureaucratic,” but that the company took his request more seriously after a plot was uncovered to send two explosives hidden in parcels bound from Yemen to the US.

Barack Obama, the US president, linked the plot — thought to be an attempt to blow up the aeroplanes the parcels were carried on mid-flight — to AQAP.

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