Saturday night a friend said, “There are a bunch of crazy sites reporting a container sent as ‘aid for refugees’ was really a weapons cache.” My ears perked up.
Having written on the refugee crisis already I was interested in this story. There is suspicion of the motives of many of the refugees and other immigrants, including the possibility that ISIS is sending fighters in the confusion.
It looks like the story of the aid container started with this YouTube video: Container with aid for “refugees” was full of weapons and ammunition.
Clearly a lot of weapons are being offloaded from various boxes. Shotguns are apparent. None of the video is in English, so, for the average American, what is happening beyond that is hard to tell. What isn’t hard to tell, though, is the name of the boat, the Haddad 1.
The widely read and (hopefully) lightly regarded Gateway Pundit is a possible culprit for this bogus story being spread far and wide. Jim Hoft’s article, “Ship with ‘Aid’ for Refugees Arrives in Greece Full of Weapons and Ammunition,” leads with a falsehood and keeps going.
A container full of help for Muslim “refugees” arrived in Greece and guess what was in it?
It was full of weapons and ammunition.
Hoft then sinisterly asks, “Why isn’t the media reporting about this?”
Well, they are. It’s because of their reporting we know the ship didn’t “arrive” in Greece. It was seized by the Greek Coast Guard.
The same boat, Haddad 1, is featured in a story in the UK Independent, dated September 6, 2015.
A huge stash of weapons and ammunition has been found hidden aboard a cargo ship understood to be bound for Libya.
Greek authorities seized 5,000 shotguns and half a million rounds of ammunition found aboard the Haddad 1, a coast guard official said on Wednesday.
Videos released by the Hellenic Coast Guard show officers uncovering the arms, which it said had no accompanying documents and were concealed by furniture and gym mats.
Iraqi News reports the shipment was headed for ISIS, not Syrian refugees, quoting AP:
The news agency “Associated Press” quoted the Greek authorities as saying, “we captured a cargo ship loaded with weapons and explosives near the island of Crete; it was taken to a nearby port for research and investigation.”
According to “Associated Press,” “the Greek authorities did not give any information about the type and quantity of weapons on board and did not reveal the identity of the ship and its crew.”
Greek local media said that “the shipment was sent by terrorists linked with ISIS in Libya on its way to Iraq and Syria.”
A Turkish foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the cargo included weapons but said it was fully documented and was destined for the Sudanese police force. The vessel was also carrying building materials for Libya, he said.
“If investigations by the Greek authorities show that the consignment is going to receivers other than those stated in the documentation, and if that is shared with us, naturally measures could be taken,” foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said.
Libya is divided between two rival governments battling for control, leaving a security vacuum being exploited by migrant smugglers and Islamist militants.
If you want to know how clickbait works, Hoft provides a great example. Also, a lack of concern with accuracy.
Gateway Pundit had previously reported on the shipment going to ISIS citing the AP. But, after the above video was uploaded, he changed the focus of the story, embedded the video, and claimed the exact same shipment had “arrived” in Greece (rather than being seized) with weapons for “Muslim refugees” (rather than ISIS in Libya) and republished the story with the new, misleading headline.
Be vigilant, folks. Bad information abounds.
Thanks for reading and sharing. Don’t forget to subscribe to email alerts at the top of the sidebar.