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Pentagon paid PR firm $540m to make fake ‘Al-Qaeda’ videos

Image Courtesy: The Daily Beast
Image Courtesy: The Daily Beast

Washington: The Pentagon gave a controversial U.K. PR firm $540million to make fake extremist videos in Iraq, revealed the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

According to the RT news reports, PR firm Bell Pottinger worked with the Pentagon to make the propaganda in a secretive operation.

Bell Pottinger’s former chairman Lord Tim Bell confirmed to The Sunday Times that his firm had worked on the “covert” military operation “covered by various secrecy agreements” and Pottinger reported to the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Council on its work in Iraq, he stated.

The top-secret propaganda ‘Psychological operations’ launched soon after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

It employed nearly 300 British and Iraqi staff operated to the task included filming bomb attacks, writing soap operas and producing low-quality FAKE Al-Qaeda videos to look as though they had come from Arabic news networks.

Specific instructions were given to the employees to create the videos.

“We need to make this style of video and we’ve got to use Al-Qaeda’s footage,” Wells was told. “We need it to be 10 minutes long, and it needs to be in this file format, and we need to encode it in this manner.”

These fake videos were allegedly distributed to portray Al-Qaeda in a negative light and track suspected sympathizers watching them.

According to MiddleEastMonitor reports, the Pentagon confirmed the controversial PR firm did work for them under the Information Operations Task Force (IOTF) creating content they say was “truthful”.

Bell Pottinger is understood to have been funded some $540million from the US Department of Defence (DoD) for five contracts from May 2007 to December 2011, according to the Times and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Martin Wells, ex-employee hired as a video editor by Bell Pottinger told the Bureau how he landed in Baghdad to edit content for secret “psychological operations” at Camp Victory. He said his time in Iraq was “shocking, eye-opening, life-changing.”

“We need to make this style of video and we’ve got to use al-Qaeda’s footage,” Wells was told. “We need it to be 10 minutes long, and it needs to be in this file format, and we need to encode it in this manner.”

Under the pretext that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), former US President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

But a CIA report in October 2004 revealed that Saddam Hussein did not have any active WMD program.

The country is in more catastrophic situation and became the target of extremist groups including Al-Qaeda and Daesh.

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