In today’s issue (Arabic), al-Ghad published an apology on the front page. Here is the gist of it.
Al-Ghad said Raed al-Banna was not the car bomber of al Hilla and apologized for publishing information without checking it. Al-Ghad apologized as well to the Iraqi people for publishing this information. The paper also condemned the attacks on Sunni and Shia Iraq and stated their support and solidarity with the Iraqi people. Okay at least they apologized, this makes me feel much better. Perhaps I will change my mind about boycotting them.
Also in al Ghad, a Jordanian official denied (Arabic) that the Hilla bomber was Jordanian.
In addition, the father of the alleged bomber sent a letter (Arabic) to al-Ghad that in essence denied his son’s role in al-Hilla, saying that his son left Jordan to work and that he received a phone call informing him that his son was killed in Mosul. He denied organizing what the paper called "a martyr’s wedding" and condemned the attacks on Iraqis. The father said he only received people in his tribe conference hall that had heard the news that his son was killed in one of the districts of Mosul. He also said he plans on suing the satellite stations that ruined his image and that of his family.
The lesson of this fiasco: Irresponsible journalism can result in national scandals. Advice to al-Ghad: Train your journalists!
Before I go, I just discovered a NY Times story following up on these events. Their version follows out much of what I’ve written here, adding some pictures and curious quotes. The full text is also available on the newswire.