Did the BBC use a Nour Al Din Zinki supporter as researcher for Mayday series?

Abd AlKader Habak was a researcher on the BBC series Mayday, produced by Chloe Hadjimatheou. While western audiences were swamped by images of him supposedly saving a child from the Rashideen massacre in April 2017, survivor testimonies that I gathered placed him prior to the planned suicide attack, chatting amicably with the armed groups led by Nusra Front or Al Qaeda in Syria.  

I will be shortly writing up my research into the background and affiliations of Habak including the fact he was “trained” by British intelligence outreach agents who were responsible for the production of “citizen journalists” to provide the propaganda to criminalise the Syrian state and allies. 

There is certainly evidence taken from various social media pages that Habak had a close working relationship with members or supporters of Nour Al Din Zinki – child beheaders and extremist militants formerly sponsored by the US. He also appears with “medical staff” who welcomed Sheikh Abdullah Muhaysini to Aleppo prior to the liberation of East Aleppo by the Syrian Arab Army and allies in December 2016. Muhaysini is responsible for the training of child suicide bombers among many other sadisitic and brutal crimes this Riyadh sponsored religious fanatic has committed inside Syria. 

Habak with Nabil Sheikh Omar – who takes selfies with murdered children
Ahmed Mojadidi in same Saudi video with Habak – December 2016
Mojadidi with Muhaysini – Aleppo 2016

Habak was also brought in by Chloe Hadjimatheou to provide cover for the accustaions of organ trafficking that have been levied against the White Helmets by Syrian civilians. Habak posited a theory that the missing organs might be due to “autopsies” carried out in Turkey before bodies are returned to relatives.

Chloe does not fully endorse this theory, true, but neither does she question it in any depth. Nor does she investigate the background and allegiances of Habak or, for that matter, Farouq Al Habib, who also appears in the same episode backing up Habak’s claims. Habib was a leader of “revolutionary” armed groups in Homs before integrating into Mayday Rescue and providing translation services for the leader of the White Helmets, another terrorist affiliate, Raed Saleh – kicked out of the US in 2016 for his “extremist connections”. 

My full article on the Rashideen massacre is here. 

Meanwhile, here is my email conversation with Chloe Hadjimatheou, in full. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions but it is clear that answers will not be forthcoming from the BBC: 

Transcript of conversation with Chloe Hajimatheou and Su Pennington of BBC – 20th November 2020

Vanessa:

Good morning

Please would you let me know what advice you secured from medical experts to support Habak’s “autopsy” theory with reference to Syrian civilian testimony that “lightly injured” children & adults were taken to the Turkish border and their bodies returned with a scar running the length of their torso and without organs. How does the BBC explain Habak’s ability to work with armed groups such as Nusra Front (Al Qaeda) without being killed, imprisoned or kidnapped?

Thank you

Chloe:

Hello Vanessa,

Your reporting about Habak is frankly shockingly bad – full of terrible inaccuracies and you are doing the same with my programme.

“lightly injured” – this phrase does not appear in my programme  – you have made it up.

The wording used was: sometimes some people get hurt, get shot or something like that and… the hospital transferred them to Turkey. ….you have like a very, very like serious hurt or serious surgery and you don’t have ….the good doctor … The specialist doctor. So they transport him to Turkey.

My programme DID also include the script line: I should stress that this is a theory. It’s impossible to know for sure.

Can I suggest you listen to the episode properly.

Habak has never worked WITH any armed groups. Like many other civilians he has been in areas where armed groups were in control. This is very far from the same thing. Many media activists and cameramen and other civilians were operating in those areas without being killed. This does not imply collaboration and you have absolutely no evidence for that.

Your published talks and writing about the bombing incident at which Habak was present is full of obvious inaccuracies easily fact checked by looking at the photos and video from the incident. And of course you never bothered to check any of it with him directly.

Vanessa:

Lightly injured is my wording. Based on my experience interviewing the Syrian civilians you ignored in your report. Please answer the very simple question. Did the BBC seek any expert advice about the “autopsies” theory?

The huge difference between your reporting and mine is that I was on the ground when the Rashideen attack happened and my report is based on survivor testimony and what I saw. Yours is based on videos filmed by journalists who could only operate with the express permission of Nusra Front leadership. Those include Habak.

You keep telling me that I am wrong but without answers to my questions and without addressing the evidence. Please expand. What is inaccurate?

You seem to have a problem reading. Please answer my very clear and simple questions. I really don’t understand what makes you so defensive.

Vanessa:

Resending questions

Good morning

Please would you let me know what advice you secured from medical experts to support Habak’s “autopsy” theory with reference to Syrian civilian testimony that “lightly injured” children & adults were taken to the Turkish border and their bodies returned with a scar running the length of their torso and without organs. How does the BBC explain Habak’s ability to work with armed groups such as Nusra Front (Al Qaeda) without being killed, imprisoned or kidnapped?

Thank you

Chloe:

I have answered your questions. I am working and very busy.

Vanessa:

Me too. Where have you answered the question? Did the BBC take any medical expert advice about the “autopsies” theory? Simple yes or no required.

Does the BBC have any suggestions how Habak escaped any Nusra Front attacks, detainment etc while clearly working as a journalist in areas they controlled when it is a well known fact, even reported by mainstream journalists, that it is high risk unless they receive special dispensation from Nusra Front leadership. Simple question.

Chloe:

Dear Vanessa,

I see that you haven’t found my responses satisfactory. Could I recommend that instead of continuing to send Su and myself or the rest of our team so many emails you could follow this link for more information on how to complain to the BBC, where you will also be able to log your concerns and you will be guaranteed a reply: https://www.bbc.co.uk/contact/complaints.

Regards,

Vanessa:

You didn’t respond at all, you obfuscated. I inform you that our conversation will be published.

Just to clarify, you are not prepared to answer two very simple questions? You hounded myself and others during your “research”, we never failed to provide an answer. Yet, in this case, the BBC cannot provide clarification that is very important to the public understanding of the context of your suggested reasoning for missing organs in Syrian civilians.

I wonder how this will be viewed by your audience.

Chloe:

Vanessa,

You have sent me 6 emails today – I question who is doing the hounding. I refer you once again to the BBC complaints site.

Vanessa:

I am forced to send 6 emails because you have failed to respond at all.

*Just to clarify, you are not prepared to answer two very simple questions? You hounded myself and others during your “research”, we never failed to provide an answer. Yet, in this case, the BBC cannot provide clarification that is very important to the public understanding of the context of your suggested reasoning for missing organs in Syrian civilians.*

*** 

It is worth pointing out that referring us to the BBC “complaints department” is ridiculous – I was one of the main targets of this series, had been in conversation with the producer since June 2020. I am not a member of the public listening in, I am involved and the BBC has a duty to respond to questions re information they have aired that may defame or libel those concerned. We have a right to reply. 

One thought on “Did the BBC use a Nour Al Din Zinki supporter as researcher for Mayday series?

  1. The BBC is such a disgrace today and so self-satisfied that they seem to think their output is entirely beyond reproach. And Chloe is no doubt deluded enough to believe she is doing actual journalism. Makes me sick to be honest.

    Under the circumstances it is not only ridiculous but simply disgusting that they are trying to brush you off with some crap about using their complaints dept – do they even have an actual department? (I don’t think so.) As someone who has followed the BBC complaints procedure on many past occasions I can certainly tell you how it would pan out…

    First they would repeatedly deny your accusation/s and then about nine months later (all of this time taken due to delays on their part between the two or three replies you eventually received) they will recommend that having found nothing worthy of consideration you might forward your complaint to Ofcom. In this regard you will then have a remarkably short time limit to act and should you bother, then another month or so later, you will learn that Ofcom is in full support of the BBC’s original decision and so have no further right to reply. In short, it’s all a tremendous waste of everyone’s time.

    In truth, I just wish someone would sue them. Great work as always Vanessa and greatly appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s