Two BBC Men Shot in Saudi Arabia
Sunday, June 6, 2004
A BBC cameraman Simon Cumbers has been killed and BBC correspondent Frank Gardner has been wounded, after gunmen opened fire on them near the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
Cumbers, 36, was a freelance journalist and cameraman working for the BBC and other news organisations, the BBC said in a statement following the shooting.
Ironically, Gardner had been reporting on the increased risk to foreigners in Saudi Arabia when he and his cameraman were attacked.
Riyadh's police chief said the attack was carried out by "unknown elements" at around 1740 (1540 BST).
According to the BBC, Gardner is a leading expert on al-Qaeda, and regularly reports on matters of security and intelligence.
All of which prompt this writer to wonder: the so-called “War on Terror” is as much a battle for hearts and minds, as it is a military campaign. Thus it is a struggle that is being fought as much in the media as it is in the battlefields of the modern world.
Could it be that Muslim extremists have decided to take the fight to their perceived enemy, by targeting Western media workers?
Whatever the answer, a number of observers have noted Gardner's seemingly close aquaintance with British Intelligence personeel. Indeed, it is a mattar of record that British intelligence regularly recruits journalists to further their own agenda. And while Gardner, who speaks fluent Arabic, may entirely innocent of the charge, it may help explain why he was targeted.
Last updated 10/06/2004