These media sources have a slight to moderate liberal bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation. See all Left-Center sources.
- Overall, we rate Jihadica Left-Center biased due to source selection that slightly favors the Left, and based on our review we could not find anything factually incorrect, however, we could not verify all information due to the need for translation. Therefore, this is a medium confidence review.
Factual Reporting: HIGH
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180 (2020)
Launched in 2008, Jihadica is a blog of researchers and academics who monitor Sunni-based Islamic extremism worldwide. Jihadica’s founder and the lead author are William McCants, who describes the blog as “a platform for the analysis of developments in militant, transnational Sunni Islamism, commonly known as jihadism.” McCants was also a senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy (formerly the Saban Center for Middle East Policy) which is a Washington based think tank established by the Brookings Institution and funded by American-Israeli film and television producer Haim Saban. Saban’s primary political view according to a New Yorker article is “to protect Israel, by strengthening the United States-Israel relationship.” Saban believes there are three ways to influence American politics; “make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets.” In 2002, he contributed seven million dollars toward the cost of a new building for the Democratic National Committee, which was one of the largest known donations ever made to an American political party.
According to an Economist article, they describe Jihadica founder McCants as a “co-editor of a respected website (jihadica.com) and Islamic specialist at Brookings Institution.” Further, the Princeton.edu newsletter reports that William McCants turned the blog over to other academics in 2009 when he joined the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the program manager of the Minerva Initiative. Currently, Cole Bunzel is listed as the editor of Jihadica.
Funded by / Ownership
Jihadica’s About Page states that “Much of the primary source material related to this movement is diffuse, known only to a few specialists, and inaccessible to the public and policymakers unless they pay a fee.”
Analysis / Bias
Jihadica has been criticized by Electronic Intifada author Benjamin Doherty, describing McCants as a “clueless terrorism expert”.
In review, Jihadica monitors Sunni-based Islamic extremism worldwide by analyzing Islamic State fatwas or translating documents. Typically, they utilize minimally loaded language in their headlines such as this: “Jihadi reactions to Obama” and “Abu al-Qassam: Zarqawi’s right-hand man who stayed loyal to al-Qaida.”
Jihadica sources to credible media outlets such as english.alarabiya.net, Al-Monitor, and Foreign Policy. They also utilize sources that are related to the story they publish, in which we cannot verify the credibility, such as http://atc2005.blogspot.com and sources in Arabic such as alwatanvoice.com, all4syria (which is a broken link), and aqabatodaynews.com. A factual search reveals they have not been fact-checked.
Overall, we rate Jihadica Left-Center biased due to source selection that slightly favors the Left, and based on our review we could not find anything factually incorrect, however, we could not verify all information due to the need for translation. Therefore, this is a medium confidence review. (M. Huitsing 6/25/2018) Updated (5/17/2020)
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