‘CIA tweets CIA interview with CIA’: Viewers react to suddenly-released 'eerily prophetic' CNN interview with ISIS-K commander
CNN’s airing of an interview with an ISIS-K commander left observers to wonder how the media outlet gained access to the terrorist leader – and protected his identity – two weeks before his group killed nearly 200 people.
The interview was aired on Saturday, with the “senior ISIS-K commander” telling CNN reporter Clarissa Ward at a hotel in Kabul that the group was “laying low and waiting for its moment to strike.” That moment apparently arrived on Thursday, when a blast for which ISIS-K took responsibility killed 170 Afghans and 13 US servicemen outside the Kabul airport. Hundreds more were injured.
Two weeks prior to the attack in Kabul, CNN's @clarissaward interviewed a senior ISIS-K commander.At that time the commander told Ward the group was laying low and waiting for a time to strike. As Ward notes, these were "words that turned out to be eerily prophetic." pic.twitter.com/XV7RggUEg4— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) August 28, 2021
Ward called the commander’s words “eerily prophetic,” but social media users suggested that the statement was more of a plot than a prophecy, considering the commander was speaking of what his group was about to carry out. Others argued that CNN aided and abetted the Kabul attack by having advance notice and apparently doing nothing to help prevent it or lead US authorities to the terrorist commander.
So nice that CNN had advanced notice of an eminent attack.— John Adams (@John_S_Adams) August 28, 2021
Co- conspirator.— Erastus X (@StymieSays) August 28, 2021
So was this information shared with or defense department?? Or was it just saved for a story?? Disgusting.— 🇺🇸HitmanTwoTwo🇺🇸 (@HitmanTwoTwo) August 28, 2021
But some found CNN’s explanation of the interview unbelievable, calling it “quite fishy.” As one commenter tweeted, “‘Let’s fly to this place and meet with this terror group K that most people haven’t heard of and understand their intentions,’ said nobody ever. Very fishy.” Another said, “CIA tweets CIA interview with CIA.”
Meeting w/ this group before anything happened in Afghanistan seems quite fishy!! 🤔 "Idea, let's fly to this place & meet w/ this terror group 'K' that most people haven't heard of & understand their intentions" said nobody ever. Very Fishy!!— Jonathan Gaffney (@Gaaaffney) August 28, 2021
CIA tweets CIA interview with CIA.— 山ellsII (@realPalmTree5G) August 28, 2021
Adding to the irony, the CNN host who aired the interview was Anderson Cooper, the Vanderbilt heir who spent two summers as a CIA intern while he was a student at Yale University.
Other critics blasted CNN for giving airtime to a terrorist leader. “Who are they trying to protect, our people or the terrorist?” one observer asked. “These interviews seem odd to me as I think about the families of our fallen men and women.” Another said CNN allowed ISIS-K to use the outlet as “a no-fee fundraising campaign.”
CNN has previously criticized other media figures for giving a platform to newsmakers whose political views its leaders find objectionable. For instance, CNN’s John Avlon earlier this month accused Fox News host Tucker Carlson of doing a “week-long infomercial for authoritarian nationalism” when he traveled to Budapest to interview Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
The ISIS-K interview was not Ward’s only strange encounter with Islamists in Afghanistan. She was mocked for an August 16 report in which she said of Taliban fighters behind her, “They’re just chanting ‘death to America,’ but they seem friendly at the same time.”
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