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Desperate for Guests on Terror, CNN Has Omar Jamal No Mention of Role at UN

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 28 -- How desperate is CNN for guests? What checking do they do? On August 28, 2014, trying to cover recruits from Minnesota in the US to Islamic extremists, CNN's Don Lemon at 10 pm put on Omar Jamal.

  But no mention was mad that he was in 2012 the Somali Mission to the UN's First Secretary, media savvy for sure. Inner City Press knows and even likes him. But to say he is an expert on ISIS?

  Shouldn't CNN have done the most cursory of Googling? Shouldn't they have checked with their Richard Roth at the UN? This shows a real weakness at UN.

  Back in April 2012, Omar Jamal, previously of Minneapolis, has held press conferences two days in a row now in the UN auditorium. In a sparsely attended session on April 3, Inner City Press asked Jamal about human rights, the firing of UN Deputy in Somalia Christian Manahl, and his government's use of mercenaries. Jamal said that drone strikes against Al Shabab leaders are understandable, even welcome.

On April 4 Jamal appeared again, this time with a larger audience. In the interim a suicide bomber had killed ten people in the refurbished national theater, the day after the New York Times reported that things were getting better in Mogadishu.

  Most questions Jamal faced were about the attack, of which he said he knew little; he speculated that the bomber may have had "inside information" that the Times piece was coming out and killed to try to counteract it.

Inner City Press asked Jamal to be more specific about drones: to which governments or entities has the Transitional Federal Government given approval for drone strikes, is the TFG informed of targets in advance? Jamal's answer mentioned the US, UK and NATO; then he refused to say more.

Other diplomats have remarked to Inner City Press that its rare for a "First Secretary" -- at most, a Mission's Number Three -- to hold press conferences, particularly two days in a row.

  "Well, Omar Jamal is media savvy," said one diplomat. "His foreign minister isn't here?" asked another diplomat. "Why is he doing it? Is he trying to take over?"

The Somali mission has seen this before, as Inner City Press reported involving Deputy Permanent Representative Idd Bidl "Mogadishu in Manhattan" Mohamed. Some wonder, do we now have "Minneapolis in Manhattan"? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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