A letter written by the Editor-in-Chief of Al-Arabiya English website, Faisal Abbas, showed that the news channel relied on Syrian opposition members related to a group called “New Syria” in getting the documents, indicating that the channel had “ dealt with ‘New Syria’ in the past” for getting information about several issues including the Syrian protests.
The writer denied Al-Arabiya’s responsibility of publishing false information, noting that “first let us get the facts straight; we have said upfront that these documents were obtained from members of the Syrian Opposition.”
As he admonished “professional journalists or those café-based bloggers who think they can do a better job” for noting calling Al-Arabiya and demanding an explanation, he alleged that Al-Arabiya had no agenda besides “professionalism” and does not fabricate documents.
Moving on with the “apology”, Abbas reiterated that “these documents were obtained from opposition sources,” assuring that “as professional journalists, we obviously knew that this naturally means that they (our sources) may have been selective in what they chose to share with us.”
“Then, we did mention upfront that our sources declined to inform us how they managed to obtain these highly confidential files,” he further stated.
The approximately 1, 500 word evasive apology letter moved on with its justifications, indicating that Al-Arabiya was not able to contact a Syrian official over the documents.
“The point is you just don’t ring someone’s press office and expect an answer in Syria,” it said.
From here, the writer recalled that “we did carry Hezbollah’s denial of their involvement in the killing of former Lebanese MP and publishing guru, Gebran Tueni, as one of our leaked Syrian security documents insinuated they did,” concluding his “apology” letter with that.