LifeNews, a mainstream Russian TV news channel, aired a segment on Thursday in which a regular guest and “expert political analyst” stated that the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris had in fact been carried out by United States intelligence agencies.
The guest, Alexei Martynov, suggested that US intelligence had launched the Charlie Hebdo attack in order to sabotage the global effort against Islamist terrorism, which he argued Russia is leading. Martynov also argued that the attack was meant to pressure French President Francois Hollande into maintaining Western economic sanctions against Russia.
The segment ran for 10 minutes, during which Martynov’s views were presented as fact and went largely unchallenged. A video of the interview can be seen on LifeNews’ website. The network announced the segment in a tweet reading, “Political analyst Alexei Martynov: Terrorist attack in Paris staged by US intelligence agencies.” LifeNews is not state-run, but it is avowedly pro-Putin, and has a large viewership in Russia that surpasses some major state-run networks.
Martynov runs the pro-Putin think tank International Institute for New States and is sometimes featured on Russian state and pro-Kremlin media as an expert analyst. He has also been quoted by The Nation as an expert on United States foreign policy.
Marynov further argued that the United States is seeking to heighten European fears of terrorism, thus making European leaders reliant on US counterterrorism and cementing American hegemony over Europe. This is aimed specifically at Russia, he said, and meant to prevent European countries from rejecting the United States and allying instead with Russia, as he implied they would surely do anyway.
- #CharlieHebdo Paris attack conveniently attributed to “Al-Qaeda in Yemen”