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Helping the terrorists? Fox News faces backlash after posting unedited Islamic State video

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An image made available by jihadist media outlet Welayat Raqa on June 30, 2014 allegedly shows Islamic State (IS) militants parading in the northern rebel-held Syrian city of Raqa (AFP Photo)

Fox News has chosen to embed the video of Islamic State burning a hostage to death on its website, a move which makes them the only US media organisation to broadcast the video in full.

The extremely graphic 23-minute video shows Muadh al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, being set on fire and burned to death in a cage . Fox News did not post the videos of the killings of previous Isis hostages, and no other media company has hosted this video.

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Related: Isis video shows Jordanian hostage being burned to death

YouTube removed a link to the video a few hours after it was posted there, and a spokesperson for Facebook told the Guardian that if anyone posted the video to the social networking site, “it would come down.”

The television network’s decision to host the footage drew criticism from terrorism analysts.

Malcolm Nance, the executive director of the Terror Asymmetrics Project on Strategy, Tactics and Radical Ideology think tank and an expert on counter-terrorism and radical extremism told the Guardian that by posting the video Fox News was propagating “exactly what Isis wants to propagate.”

“The whole value of terror is using the media to spread terror,” he said.

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Rick Nelson, a senior associate in homeland security and terrorism at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that posting the video actually empowers Isis.

Related: Pilot’s murder may weaken Jordanian support for role in anti-Isis campaign

“They’re a terror organisation,” he said. “They seek to strike terror in the hearts and minds of people globally, and by perpetuating these videos and putting them out there into the internet, it certainly expands the audience and potential effects.”

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“These groups need a platform, and this gives them a platform,” he added.

Nance told the Guardian that showing the video would also further endanger other hostages, including the 26-year-old female American aid worker currently held by the militant group.

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“[Fox News] are literally – literally – working for al-Qaida and Isis’ media arm,” he added.

“They might as well start sending them royalty checks.”

Fox News did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

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guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015


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