Confirmed: ISAF detains AP/Al Jazeera reporter who is described as a ‘Taliban propaganda expert’

Earlier today, ISAF announced that its forces captured a “a suspected Taliban media and propaganda facilitator, who participated in filming election attacks, during an overnight operation in Ghazni province.” From the ISAF press release:

Intelligence reporting led the security force to a compound in the village of Qal’eh-ye Amir in Ghazni district to search for the targeted individual. Afghan forces called for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the combined force cleared and secured the compound.

After questioning the residents at the scene, the security force identified and detained the targeted individual. The security force also discovered multiple grenades, ammunition and magazines along with video recording equipment at the scene.

According to Pajwhok Afghan News, the person detained works for The Associated Press and Al Jazeera:

Coalition troops arrested a journalist working for an international news agency during a raid on his residence in southern Ghazni province, Afghan officials and NATO said on Monday.

Rahmatullah Nekzad, working for the Al-Jazeera Television channel and Associated Press (AP), was arrested by the joint assault force in Ghazni City, the provincial capital, late Sunday night.

I have an inquiry out with ISAF Joint Command media operations requesting more information, as well as a confirmation. This post will be updated with any new information.

Update:

An ISAF public affairs official confirmed to The Long War Journal that Rahmatullah Nekzad is indeed in custody and that an investigation of his activities will take place. The official said Nekzad will be treated humanely and according to US and international law.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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5 Comments

  • Lorenz Gude says:

    I think this story represents progress – sounds like the military really worked to get this guy. The demand for high impact footage of war is very high because media outlets either want to use it to shape one narrative or another or just snare eyeballs. I believe I read on this blog shortly after it was started about a battle over a helicopter in Tal Afar that ended immediately after the chopper was cut up and removed from the scene by a special wrecker. It was the ‘Blackhawk Down meme and the whole point of the battle from the jihadi point of view was to get the money shot of the lads strutting around the downed chopper. I believe that the media wants to determine the outcome of wars by swaying public opinion and will pay well for any footage regardless of where it comes from. It was pretty obvious for anyone with stopped to think about it for a moment back in 2003 that all those jinking jihadis fireing their AKs and masking their faces with keffieyhs were either actors or being photographed by enemy cameramen. Like the ‘targeted individual’ in this story.
    The editing of TV news footage follows the same rules as dramatic film – it is shot in a documentary style but has to be dramatic to both hold the audience and fool that audience into thinking they have witnessed a real event. Our emotions and our minds react to watching TV news as if we were having a real experience – but we are not – we are having a simulated experience carefully edited for ulterior motives. At the risk of repeating myself, to make us think one way or another about events, or make money or both. Ever since the media learned that they could end a war and bring down a president (Vietnam/Nixon) they have become activists believing that their first priority is to determine events, not just report them.

  • AShahid says:

    Journalist?! This is the same ‘journalist’ who embedded with the Taliban long enough to film, document AND REPORT on the execution of 2 women.
    //mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/193294.php
    If you don’t trust the link (and I wouldn’t blame you, it looked suspect to me), google search ‘jawa report rahmatullah naikzad’.

  • MAWLOUD OULD DADDAH says:

    AL JAZEERA AND ITS CREATORS AND FUNDERS ARE DEEPLY CONNECTED WITH AL QAIDA AND BIN LADEN AND SINCE A VERY LONG TIME NOW.THEY WERE IN TOUCH BEFORE 911

  • Render says:

    I think Rusty and crew will be pleased to read this…
    ME
    2,
    R

  • Khurram says:

    The journalist was freed. Does that mean that the Taliban have some pull over the detaining entities in Afghanistan, or these guys were innocent and all this BS that they were propaganda experts for Taliban was just made up because this guy was actually reporting on things that US/NATO didn’t like and had to be stopped.
    I’ll go with the later.
    Taliban kidnaps and kills journalists. I’m glad US has not sunk that low, but still sinking though.

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