News network Al Jazeera Arabic has retracted an article that suggested the videotaped executions of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were staged possibly as a pretext to another U.S. intervention in the Middle East.
Yasser Abu Hilalah, the network's managing director, said in a statement that the report was yanked because it was "inaccurate."
In respect to families of the victims and as we share their grief, Al Jazeera Arabic's website decided to retract an inaccurate article that questioned the legitimacy of Foley and Sotloff's beheading videos after a theory surfaced on a number of American social media sites claiming they were produced as a pretext ahead of a U.S. invasion of Syria.
We want to take this as an opportunity to reiterate Al Jazeera previous position in condemning the kidnapping of the two journalists and condemning their killing as a heinous crime. [Al Jazeera]
The original report, translated by Al Arabiya News, said the executioner looked "similar to a Hollywood actor," and it claimed Foley may have had ties to the State Department, "which would mean that he colluded in the fabrication of the tape."