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Aljazeera journalist’s widow may sue US

London, 24 Nov. (AKI) - The widow of Tariq Ayyoub, the journalist from satellite TV network Al Jazeera, who was killed when the station’s Baghdad offices were bombed in 2003, says she is considering sueing the US government over his death. The revelation follows reports in British newspaper The Daily Mirror, that US president George W. Bush planned to bomb Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar but was talked out of it by British prime minister Tony Blair.

Dima Tahboub, wife of the 35-year-old journalist, says she may take legal action, because “The report proves the cold-blooded murder of my husband.”

“America always claimed it was an accident. But I believe the new revelations prove that claim was false or at least trustworthy,” the Daily Mirror reported her as saying. “I will seek legal advice in light of this new information to achieve justice,” she added.

Ayyoub died on 8 April 2003, when his office on the west bank of the Tigris river in Baghdad was hit by at least two American missiles as he reported from the roof. That same morning US tanks fired at the Palestine Hotel, which was used by scores of journalists, killing two of them. The offices of Abu Dhabi TV, some 300 metres away from the Al Jazeera office, were also hit that day. Following the attacks the Pentagon said it would never intentionally target journalists.

Ayyoub was born in Kuwait to a Palestinian family who later moved to Jordan as refugees as a result of the Gulf War. Before joining Al Jazeera he worked as a producer for the APTN news agency and wrote for the English language newspaper The Jordan Times. While working as a journalist he was arrested so many times his family said they had lost count, but he was never charged and was always released soon afterwards. He had one daughter, Fatmeh, who was just one-year-old when he died.

Al Jazeera has demanded an official confirmation or denial over the revelations that Bush planned to bomb their headquarters. Managing director Waddah Khanfar said: “We’re taking this very seriously. Al Jazeera has been attacked twice before and a colleague killed. I would like an official explanation about what happened.”

The White House has dismissed claims it planned to bomb Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar, with a spokesman saying on Tuesday: “We are not going to dignify something so outlandish with a response.”

Another Al Jazeera correspondent, Taysir Allouni, is currently serving a seven year jail sentence in Spain after being convicted of being a member of al-Qaeda. Since December 2001, an Al Jazeera cameraman, Sami al-Hajj, has been held in the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after being arrested in Afghanistan on suspicion of being an “enemy combatant”.

Date posted: November 24, 2005 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 478