Al-Zawraa TV, an Iraqi channel that was banned from Arab satellites following U.S. pressure on Arab governments, has now resurfaced in Syria under the name of Al-Rai TV. Al-Zawraa TV used to air footage of terror attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq 24 hours a day.
According to Arab media reports, Al-Rai TV, registered in Syria, is owned by former Iraqi MP Mish'an Al-Jabouri, who was also the owner of Al-Zawraa. Al-Jabouri fled to Syria after being implicated in several corruption scandals, and was sentenced in absentia to 30 years imprisonment. Al-Zawraa TV ceased its broadcasting in 2007, after being banned from the Nilesat and Arabsat satellites following U.S. pressure on Arab governments.
During the month of Ramadhan, Al-Rai TV began to air footage of terror attacks in a weekly program, called "The Harvest of the Resistance." The show is edited and presented by a certain "Hussein Hussein," who used to present similar footage on Al-Zawraa TV. On Al-Rai TV, Hussein Hussein appears not in his familiar guerilla fatigues, but in suit and tie.
In an interview reported on the Internet, Al-Jabouri denied that he owned Al-Rai TV, saying that the channel was registered to a Syrian citizen, by the name of Raw'a Al-Awsati. It transpires, however, that Al-Awsati is Al-Jabouri's Syrian wife, who used to work as a secretary for Al-Zawraa TV.
Al-Jabouri confirmed that he was one of the team chosen to select Al-Rai TV's media personnel – together with Faysal Al-Qassem, the Syrian TV host of the popular Al-Jazeera TV show, "Opposite Direction," and the Egyptian Nasser Qandil, who hosts a Dubai TV talk show.
The Al-Rai broadcasts deal almost exclusively with Iraq, and include interviews with Sunni Iraqi commentators and politicians. The channel also airs a series of interviews on the lives of terrorist leaders, such as DFLP Secretary-General Naif Hawatme. Al-Rai TV is currently broadcasting a series of interviews with Salah Omar Ali, a former minister in the Saddam government.
Al-Rai TV broadcasts from Syria via the Eurobird 2 satellite, which belongs to the European Eutelsat company, as well as via the Atlantic Bird 4 satellite, which also belongs to Eutelsat, but was leased in September 2005 to the Egyptian Nilesat company, and is now called Nilesat 103.
Following are excerpts from the first broadcast of "The Harvest of the Resistance," which aired on September 15, 2008:
To view this clip, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/1854.
Title: "'The Harvest of the Resistance,' Edited and Presented by Hussein Hussein, Produced by Al-Rai TV – 2008"
Hussein Hussein: "The honorable heroes of Iraq are united by their love of freedom and their rejection of humiliation. They tell us the most glorious story in the history of mankind – a story not of death, but of eternal life and martyrdom for the sake of freedom, under the banner of Jihad. The honorable heroes of Iraq are 'men who have been true to the covenant they made with Allah. Some of them have died, others await their turn, but they have not changed [their religion].'"
"In Mosul, an armored vehicle of the American occupation army was making its way on the Land of Freedom and Steadfastness. While the occupation soldiers riding inside it were dreaming of the day they would leave their Iraqi quagmire, still in one piece, the Auxiliary Engineering Detachments of the Wing for Organized Guerilla Warfare of the Islamic Army were preparing an explosive device that would turn their dreams into nightmares, which would only leave them with the explosion of the armored vehicle, and the killing of soldiers inside."
"The following footage demonstrates to you, our dear viewers, how a smart armored minesweeper is destroyed, after coming to a halt on top of an explosive device, planted by the heroes of the Ansar Al-Islam Army on the right-hand side of the city of Mosul. The minesweeper failed to remove the device, thus putting an end to the myth about the invincible American technology. Let's watch together the destruction of an American minesweeper in Mosul."
Title: "'The Media Branch of the Mujahideen Army.'
"'By the grace of Allah, an American vehicle was wrecked by means of an explosive device in Mosul.'"