|Killed Reuters Photographer Tried to Join Al Qaeda
Among the roughly 300 killed during intense fighting in Aleppo was Molhem Barakat, a Reuters photographer. Barakat's death last Friday, in the indiscriminate barrage on Aleppo that the White House criticized Monday, has raised serious questions about Reuters' hiring practice.
Hannah Lucinda Smith, a British freelance photojournalist and acquaintance of Barakat, writes that Barakat tried to join Al Qaeda.
According to Smith, Barakat wanted to join the terrorist organization for the 11,000 Syrian lira monthly salary. "It is a pitiful wage for a potential suicide bomber, but enough to tempt an eighteen-year-old stuck in a war zone with no job."
Barakat reportedly told Smith the terrorist group probably wouldn't accept him, saying "I'm too liberal. But maybe they’ll think I’ll be useful to them, because I can still go into regime areas so I could transport weapons there for them.”
Barakat was roughly 17 when he started working for Reuters in battle zones, according to an Honest Reporting article on Monday. His age was not included in the Reuters report of his death.