For quite some time, a Qatari political dissident Khalid al-Hail has been in the news for publishing, on his Twitter timeline, audio recordings of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's phone conversations with Qatari leaderships. These recordings are explosive as they suggest that Gaddafi and Qatari leaders had been planning the overthrow of regimes in rival Arab countries.
But that's not all, these recordings have also suggested that the Qatari regime has links with Muslim Brotherhood – a fundamentalist Islamist organisation. Even more disturbingly, these links are strong enough to let the Brotherhood influence the editorial policies of Al Jazeera, the Doha-based news network, if the recordings are to be believed.
Now, al-Hail has promised to drop more audio recordings that will prove that the news network is indulging in promoting the Islamist organisation's propaganda.
Leaks already in public domain
As of now, there are plenty of audio recordings that are in public due to Khalid al-Hail's disclosure. Regarding the editorial integrity of Al Jazeera, two are most important. One involves Gaddafi talking to Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, former Prime Minister of Qatar, and the other features former Emir of the country Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa talking to the deposed Libyan dictator.
In the conversation between the former Prime Minister and Gaddafi, the Qatari leader says: "Give us names...if you give us the people that you don't want to come out on Al Jazeera...." The Libyan leader replies: "The agreement is that anyone who attacks Libya, they're not allowed."
The other recording has the then ruler of Libya saying "Al Jazeera stopped (negative reporting) of Saudi Arabia", to which the response from the former Emir is "No, no, no. The stop that you're referring to did not happen."
There is an even more damaging part of the recording where Gaddafi is talking about Muslim Brotherhood controlling some of the programming on the network and there is full acceptance from Hamid bin Jassim. "I agree with you, I am telling you this is true."
Clouds over Al Jazeera's neutrality
This is not the first time that the television station that has become the voice of the Arab world among the English-speaking audiences has come under suspicion regarding its agenda. It's coverage during the 'Arab Spring' in 2011 had also raised questions and three of its reporters were arrested in Egypt on charges of running propaganda.
But al-Hail is far from done as far as sharing audio leaks are concerned. He has promised even more shocking clippings in the future. "Unfortunately, what I saw and heard, is something abnormal. What I leaked (till now) is nothing in comparison," he said.
There is still no clarity over the source of these leaks and who is responsible for recording the conversations in them. The best guess till now is that it was Gaddafi who recorded these calls and they have been leaked to al-Hail by those who came into possession of these after his dethronement. That doesn't take away from their shocking contents.