Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mainichi Scoop on ISIL Embezzler? Think Again

Today (Feb. 17), the Mainichi website uploaded a remarkable report from its Cairo correspondent, citing a Syrian antigovernment activist as the main source. Specifically, an Egyptian official of ISIL charged with collecting donations in Deir Ez Zour province in East Syria reportedly disappeared. The report also says that there is information (情報もある) that the Egyptian absconded to Turkey taking approximately 1 billion Syrian pounds in donations.

I always get suspicious when a Japanese newspaper comes across unsourced “information.” (Likewise, when something “becomes known (明らかになった),” it usually means, “We’ve been scooped!” But I digress.) In fact, the “information” given here looks suspiciously like it was summarized from this English-language report dated February 3, which in turn gives as its source an Arabic report (Feb. 2) that cites yet another news site.

Mainichi’s story is more than two weeks old. And it’s not giving credit to a key source. And its “Syrian antigovernment activist” (in Cairo?) adds nothing of value to the English-language report.

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