The Washington Times wrongly accused a Saudi businessman of funding the terrorist group ISIS.
The June 17 article, “Turkey’s support for ISIS Islamist terrorists. Aiding jihadists could put Ankara at odds with Iran” was by Daniel Pipes. Pipes is “the founder and president of the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based research institute,” according to his website.
His article claimed Saudi businessman Yassin Abdullah Kadi “has close ties to” and “has funded ISIS,” according to his apology statement. The article also implicated Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, by claiming that Erdogan “met three times with Mr Kadi” related to Kadi’s alleged involvement with ISIS.
The original article appears to have been unpublished.
The Times published on July 5 an apology from Pipes, for the claims about Kadi and ISIS. His apology said that Kadi’s lawyers contacted him over the allegations.
iMediaEthics asked Pipes for more information about the apology and how the errors occurred in his original report. He wrote, ” Sorry, but being harassed by a Specially Designated Global Terrorist means I would rather not provide details on this matter at present. But do note the title of the apology: ‘Posted under threat from SDGT Yassin Abdullah Kadi.'”
Kadi is currently listed on the U.S. Treasury’s 2014 Specially designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list.
The apology reads in full:
“In my article dated 18 June 2014 headed ‘Turkish Support for ISIS’, I alleged that Saudi businessman Yassin Abdullah Kadi has close ties to ISIS, the militant Sunni Islam group, and that Mr Kadi has funded ISIS. I also stated that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had met three times with Mr Kadi, and I implied these meetings took place in order to further Ankara’s alleged support for the ISIS group.
“I have since been informed by Mr Kadi’s legal advisers that he has never supported ISIS financially (or otherwise) nor has he ever supported any other terrorist group or activity.
“I unreservedly retract these allegations of Mr Kadi which I accept are totally untrue. I sincerely apologize to Mr Kadi for having published them.”
Pipes published the apology on his website July 1.
iMediaEthics has written to the Washington Times for more information about this incident including how the error occured, if the Washington Times will issue its own apology in addition to Pipes’ apology, and why the Times published the apology four days after Pipes issued it. We’ll update with any additional information.
UPDATE: 7/7/2014 1:30 PM EST iMediaEthics is writing to Kadi’s lawyer for comment.