Thursday 23 February 2017


It's still extremely curious how media organisations - from Sky to ITV News, from the Times to the Guardian - are consistently referring to the ex-Guantanamo terrorist Jamal al Harith as "Jamal al Harith", only noting in passing that he was born as "Ronald Fiddler". 

The BBC, in contrast, is still sticking with calling him "Ronald Fiddler", only noting in passing that he changed his name to "Jamal al Harith". 

The corporation is standing out like a sore thumb over this.

Last night's BBC One News at Ten, for example, reported his name like this:

  • A political row has erupted over the compensation paid to the British fighter with so-called Islamic State. Ronald Fiddler was formerly a detainee at Guantanamo Bay and is reported to have died in a suicide bombing in Iraq. 
  • Lord Carlile, who reviewed terror laws for ten years, said Fiddler should never have been paid a penny. 
  • Jamal Al-Harith, born Ronald Fiddler, was among the suspected terrorist detainees held here at Guantanamo Bay without charge until, following British government pressure, he was freed, to discuss his time behind bars. 
  • Fiddler was a suspected terrorist associated with Al-Qaeda and yet he was compensated. 
  • There may be more like Ronald Fiddler. Security forces can only try to keep up their guard in future. 
Given that this happened across the BBC's many platforms, it was clearly a decision that came from on high.


  1. They might as well have done with it and described him as a "Cockney Sparrah".

  2. Strange. There was a famous boxer named Cassius Clay who also Islamified his name, but BBC never use that name for him now.

    1. They seemed to get quite firm on Bruce and Bradley too.

  3. Oh and it is along with my theory of high-level Islamic influence at BBC. Always glossing over or downplaying or plain hiding anything negative that may be connected with Islam, while playing up anything at all positive.

  4. I think it's a safe bet that, if Ronald had changed his gender, the BBC would be reporting his/her female name.

  5. BBC Announcement:

    We have received complaints that in our reporting of the suicide bomber Ronald Fiddler we have repeatedly used a name that he has not used for over 20 years, rather than Jamal Al-Harith or Abu Zakariya al-Britani which he has used. We accept that this could cause some confusion, so we will now use the name Nigel Farage.

  6. This report from yesterday refers to him mainly as al-Harith.

    Notice, though, how the story 'evolves' through four different versions. One significant change is basic journalism - getting permission to name Blunkett rather than citing a 'senior figure' - no problem there. But the rest is interesting how they cut a bit out about how the UK has worse laws than the US which led to him getting that fat paycheck, whereas his suit was denied in the US.

    Plus the denial from Blair and reminder that it was the Coalition Government which handed over the cash, not him (fair enough). And then they sought out the murderer's brother for comment. His brother said the suicide bombing was wrong, but went on to say that was his brother just trying to help out as usual, which is a very weird moment.

    Mr Jameson described his sibling as "fun" when he was growing up and "always helping other people".

    When asked about his brother's suicide bombing he said: "I can't actually commend him about it because it isn't right, but he's done it. It's something he believes in, so I'll leave that with him.

    "He did what he could for other people, which is what he used to always be like.

    The poor lamb apparently had difficulty coping after being held in Gitmo. Thus the suggestion is planted that another innocent child was driven to extremist violence by being wrongfully held in Bush's torture chamber.

    And he said "it had been a struggle" for his brother ever since Guantanamo Bay. "If he didn't even listen to his wife, none of us could have really changed his mind."

    Yes, because fundamentalist Muslim men are usually so very likely to do as their wives tell them, right, BBC?


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