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A freelance producer who was seen to praise the work of Palestinian Hamas terrorism group and tweeted ‘#TeamHitler’ has been dropped by CNN.
Idris Mukhtar Ibrahim had his tweets, posted in 2014, exposed on pro-Israel media watchdog group HonestReporting earlier this week.
Ibrahim had been working as a freelancer covering a range of international stories for CNN, including Israel, and had previously been employed at Deutsche Welle.
The controversial posts were revealed after the Berkley Journalism graduate wrote a story about Israel’s incoming coalition.
HonestReporting questioned Ibrahim’s ‘ability to impartially report on the Arab-Israeli conflict’ given his apparent ‘profound hatred of the Jewish state.’
In a twitter post from July 13, 2014, Ibrahim expressed apparent support for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, but it remains unclear whether he was being facetious.
The tweet read: ‘I have shifted to team Germany after finding out that Messi supports Israel #teamHitler.’
In another tweet on July 18 Ibrahim can be seen replying to a post made by news organization Al Jazeera English, about whether Hamas are entitled to an armed struggle.
‘Hamas is the modern day freedpm (sic) fighters, they definding (sic) their land, Yes they are entitled to armed struggle,’ he wrote.
Idris Mukhtar Ibrahim had his tweets, posted in 2014, exposed earlier this week after he wrote a story about Israel’s incoming coalition
In a twitter post from July 13, 2014, Ibrahim expressed apparent support for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, writing ‘#teamHitler’
In another tweet just days later he wrote ‘Hamas is the modern day freedpm (sic) fighters, they definding (sic) their land, Yes they are entitled to armed struggle’
In a statement to Fox News, CNN said that they were unaware of Ibrahim’s comments from previous years.
‘Idris was employed as a freelancer by CNN. We were not aware of these tweets, which were published before we began working with him,’ a CNN spokesperson said.
‘We have informed him that we will no longer be working with him in the future.’
Ibrahim shared an apology on Friday morning for his prior tweets saying that what he wrote had been ‘ignorant and hurtful.’
‘I regret having done so and unreservedly apologize for the pain my words caused, especially to the Jewish Community,’ he said.
‘They were offensive, and I must take responsibility. I was young, new to social media, and blurted out inconsiderately.
‘I am not a hateful person and I have learnt and evolved a lot since that time.’
The former CNN producer who started working at the company in 2015 went on to say that he was grateful to his managers and colleagues at the company who helped him excel as a producer.
‘I love and respect the network and I’m sorry about the embarrassment and distraction from my old tweets,’ he said.
‘I also want to apologize to family, friends, mentors and colleagues, who I am ashamed to have let down this way.
‘So many people have held me from a kid in a slum in Nairobi to this moment and I will do everything I can to right this wrong and regain their trust.
‘I continue to learn, to be corrected and counselled in humility.’
The second post on July 18 had been a reply to a post made by news organization Al Jazeera English, about whether Hamas are entitled to an armed struggle
Ibrahim had been working as a freelancer covering a range of international stories for CNN, including Israel, and had previously worked at Deutsche Welle
Ibrahim was not the only employee of CNN who allegedly expressed extreme views.
Ibrahim began working as a freelance field producer for CNN International in 2015.
According to his student biography page he has worked closely with CNN correspondents such as Jim Acosta, David Mckenzie, Nima Elbaghir, Sam Kyle, and Robyn Kriel.
In 2019, a former CNN photo editor resigned after statements that he tweeted prior to working at the network resurfaced.
In a tweet posted on July 25, 2019, Mohammed Elshamy reportedly referred to victims killed in a terror attack in Israel as ‘Jewish pigs,’ according to The Hill.
In 2018, the network fired Marc Lamont Hill after a speech he made on Israel and Palestine at the United Nations, NBC reported at the time.
CNN also has a lengthy history of critics accusing the network of an alleged bias on its reporting relating to terrorism in Israel and the surrounding territories.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer famously called out CNN’s reporting on the region on live television in 2014, calling its reporting on that year’s Gaza-Israel war a ‘disservice’ to viewers.
Around this time period, CNN was forced to apologize after a Palestinian terror attack in a synagogue was reported onscreen as ‘Police Shot, Killed 2 Palestinians.’
Ibrahim began working as a freelance field producer for CNN International in 2015
Ibrahim shared an apology on Friday morning for his prior tweets saying that what he wrote had been ‘ignorant and hurtful’
They later amended the headline to ‘4 Israelis, 2 Palestinians dead in Jerusalem.’
Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren tweeted at the time, ‘CNN – ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?! How would America react to the headline: ‘3,000 Americans and 19 Arabs killed on 9/11′? You broke all bounds!’
Meanwhile in 2016, CNN was forced to apologize after appearing to question whether a terrorist attack, which left four people dead and dozens wounded, took place in Tel Aviv’s Sarona market.
The Jerusalem Post reported, ‘CNN inspired outrage with its headline when it put the word ‘terrorists’ in quotations. Additionally, the news agency failed to mention terrorism even once in the article reporting the ordeal.’
The latest incident comes amid mass layoffs at the network which new boss Chris Licht confirmed would take place as early as December.
Licht had to speak to employees during a tense company town hall on Tuesday after he was tasked with finding ways to cut costs.
Licht, 51, addressed questions surrounding the cuts after he previously indicated during the summer that CNN would not face any need to fire staff.
At the town hall, Licht was unapologetic about his earlier indication that there wouldn’t be layoffs, but added that he felt he was being honest at the time.
Licht has overseen the shutdown of CNN+ in 2022 and a purge of company veterans such as Brian Stelter, Jeffrey Toobin and John Harwood.
He reportedly did not get into specifics about the layoffs but said teams that are not deemed essential to the network’s ‘core mission’ were on the chopping block.