A television station established by a global coalition of terror activists is operating and fundraising in Canada, assisted by a global coalition of radical activists and violent extremists from designated terrorist organizations.
Established in the wake of the October 7th attacks, Free Palestine TV (FPTV) offers a steady diet of Hamas and Hezbollah propaganda. Its broadcasts are consistently extreme, and its social media channels comprise video clips of terrorist acts and propaganda messaging provided directly by terror groups, as well as posts glorifying the killing of Israelis.
FPTV was established by terror-activists, and serves to promote designated terror groups' interests. As FPTV's director stated in November, "We built live broadcasting units to go from the front in South Lebanon, with North Palestine, and bring in journalists from inside Palestine to give us updates." FPTV was set up, he explains, "to translate the speeches of all the resistance leadership, and as they happen, all their videos of their operations that they're releasing on a daily basis, and to air it on the internet."
The director in question is Laith Marouf, a Canadian radical activist widely accused in mainstream media of overt extremism. Marouf is not the sole reason for the channel, however. FPTV was founded, as noted by Iranian regime "journalist" Marwa Osman, "by good people in Beirut."
The "good people" with whom Marouf works and who explicitly claim credit for establishing FPTV are in fact members of Al-Tajammu, a Lebanese group with members across the world, better known in English as the Global Gathering to Support the Choice of Resistance.
On October 27th, Al-Tajammu organized an online meeting of its "coordinators" in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Australia, during which the establishment of FPTV was announced.
Al-Tajammu's secretary-general, Yahya Ghaddar, prefaced the launch news by marveling at the October 7th slaughter in Israel, stating: "God Almighty has granted the Qassam Brigades a tremendous victory." Ghaddar credited Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah with predicting this "great war," which spreads all over the Middle East, from the Mediterranean to Iran. Ghaddar further praised Iranian-aligned "Mujahideen" for "doing well by targeting American bases in Syria and Iraq." With the assistance of Al-Tajammu's support for the "resistance," the "cancerous entity" of Israel will be "eliminated" and America "defeated."
Al-Tajammu reports that Ghaddar and Al-Tajammu's Middle Eastern and African "coordinators" were full of delight over the "dream" and wonder of the Al-Aqsa Flood, and expressed enthusiasm for FPTV and support for Marouf, the station's newly appointed director.
Al-Tajammu's Western "coordinators" echoed these thoughts.
Paul Larudee, the "coordinator of the North American branch," was present at the meeting, along with various "peace activists" from the American far-Left. Larudee declared he would support the resistance through "words and money. ... We support broadcasting efforts from the Lebanese-Palestinian border with all the resources we can. We are confident that the Palestinian resistance, its advisors and supporters know what they are doing and are prepared for its consequences, and we wish them success."
He runs his own nonprofit in the United States, the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees, which funds a variety of pro-Iran initiatives and backs the Assad regime.
Tim Anderson, a disgraced Australian academic, as well as Roberta Rivolta in Italy, offered similar comments at the meeting. From France, Alain Corvez, a retired military officer who appears frequently in Iranian regime media, declared that the "heroic struggle against the Nazi-Zionist state" through the October 7th attacks are "supported and admired by people all over the world."
Such rhetoric was praised by fellow meeting attendee Ihsan Ataya, Al-Tajammu's "coordinator" in Palestine. Ataya is also the chief representative in Lebanon of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a designated terrorist organization, which took part in the October 7th pogrom.
As analyst Michael Barak has previously uncovered in meticulous detail, Al-Tajammu's network includes dozens of other members across Europe and North America, as well as other officials and members of known terrorist organizations, such as PIJ, the PFLP, the Houthi terrorist movement in Yemen and various Popular Mobilization Fores in Iraq tied closely to the Iranian regime.
In Australia, Tim Anderson's fellow Al-Tajammu member, Jay Tharappel, was reportedly expelled from the New South Wales Labor Party for wearing a Houthi badge containing the terror group's slogan: "Curse on the Jews" and "Death to Israel."
Barak's paper, published in 2021, also extensively illustrates Al-Tajammu's close involvement with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The most cursory of searches shows that still to be true today. In 2023, Iranian media reported that Seyyed Ibrahim Al-Sayed, the head of Hezbollah's political council, attended an Al-Tajammu conference in Beirut. Hezbollah operatives were joined by Australian's Tim Anderson as well as Laith Marouf's wife, Gretchen King, who is quoted celebrating the anniversary of Lebanon's "resistance and liberation" against Israel.
Al-Tajammu's other activities have been equally extreme. Previous meetings have celebrated and mourned the slain IRGC terror commander Qasem Soleimani, the recently "martyred" Hamas leader Saleh Al-Arouri and have offered explicit praise for the "heroic operations" of "martyrs" upon "killing ... Zionist settlers." Members attending and supporting the rhetoric at these events include Western radical activists from the United States, Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Australia and elsewhere.
At the subsequent launch of FPTV at an Al-Tajammu in October, Marouf appeared at home among these terror-supporters. He responded to all the praise by asking Al-Tajammu's members for "donations" for the FPTV project, proclaiming: "We are all volunteers and work for Palestine and confront the Zionist enemy."
But while FPTV is "based in Lebanon," and solicits donations through Al-Tajammu, the channel also fundraises directly in the West. In December, FPTV held a fundraiser in Canada that featured "indigenous leaders."
A donation link previously promoted by FPTV to the fundraising platform DonorBox, was previously used by Marouf's organization, the Montreal-based Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) to fundraise for Marouf's efforts opposing a Canadian government campaign against anti-Semitism.
It seems that FPTV, an online broadcaster established with the help of terrorist organizations and which aims to amplify terrorist messaging, is now fundraising through CMAC, a registered Canadian nonprofit.
In 2022, Canada's National Post reported that Marouf's nonprofit in Canada has received $600,000 from the Canadian government. The Trudeau government cancelled one grant agreement in light of the reporting into Marouf's extremism, with government ministers condemning Marouf's "hate and racism."
Indeed, Marouf is reviled by mainstream media. He has reportedly referred to Jews as "bags of human feces" worthy only of a "bullet to the head." On Twitter, Marouf reportedly referred to black Canadians as "house slaves." Elsewhere, he declared "nothing is more harmful to any decolonisation movements in the world ... than Jewish White Boys/Girls."
As with his wife, Marouf appears happy to work with Hezbollah. In late October, Marouf appeared on Hezbollah's Al-Mayadeen television channel, to explain that the "Al-Aqsa Flood" attacks were the inevitable response to the West's alliance with Israel and its purported "racist agenda" against Arabs.
As with Al-Tajammu, FPTV appears committed to backing Iran and its chief proxy, the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah.
As noted by disgraced academic David Miller, who works for the Iranian regime's own media outlet Press TV, FPTV was apparently chosen to broadcast Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's speech in November, along with live English translations.
In the run-up to that speech, Marouf told FPTV that he expects "more valiant, honorable positions from Seyed Hassan Nasrallah." Marouf subsequently explained: "During the speech of Seyed Hassan Nasrallah, we [FPTV] were the only channel that was doing English, live-interpretation of the speech. Many of the international agencies carried this interpretation, and upwards of a 1,700,000 were watching on our feed here."
But also as with Al-Tajammu, FPTV attracts a range of extremists.
One of FPTV's regular presenters is Rouba Haddad, a young Lebanese "journalist" who is an enthusiastic member and supporter of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), a violent organization responsible for decades of assassinations and bombings and whose flag is a swastika. Indeed, the Atlantic has written that the SSNP pays homage to 1930s European Nazism, with members greeting leaders with a "Hitlerian salute."
Another FPTV journalist, Mayssaloune Toufailey, when not recruiting new staff for the channel, speaks at SSNP meetings, mourns its martyrs killed fighting Israel, while her social media is replete with SSNP, Hezbollah and Hamas insignia.
Another FPTV supporter is Marwa Osman, a prominent Lebanese advocate for the Iranian regime. Osman is openly aligned with Hezbollah, and was present at the Al-Tajammu meeting at which FPTV's formation was announced.
I had the honors hosting Sayyed Hachem Saffieddine, Head of the Islamic Resistance #Hezbollah Executive Council in Lebanon on @PressTV 's @MIDEASTREAM1, to discuss the role of Martyr Haj #QassemSoleimani in the unified battle of Al-Aqsa Flood and the rising capabilities of... pic.twitter.com/U8JWLzdNWg— Marwa Osman || مروة عثمان (@Marwa__Osman) January 4, 2024
Interestingly, in January, for unknown reasons, Osman distanced herself from FPTV, declaring that she had "stopped all affiliation with anything related to FPTV. ...I no longer have any connections or any affiliations with FPTV or its managers."
Perhaps Osman fears future legal trouble. So far, however, FPTV appears to operate with complete impunity.
Glorification of terrorism laws are statute books across Europe. Even in the United States, given Al-Tajammu's discussions of financing, and the explicit decision to use FPTV to support the "resistance," material support statutes are seemingly being broken as well.
But Western governments have long been curiously Janus-faced on such prosecutions. While support for Salafi-jihadists have been prosecuted almost instantly, funding and public support for terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah have rarely led to arrests. In the United Kingdom, following the October 7th attacks, the Home Secretary even accused British police forces of disobeying orders to prosecute lawbreaking by pro-Hamas mobs.
In mainland Europe, meanwhile, the European Union, and various national governments, draw a disingenuous distinction between Hezbollah's political and miliary wings. As analysts have noted, Hezbollah itself explicitly denies any such distinction.
FPTV and its parent organization Al-Tajammu operate openly in the West as a propaganda arm for hostile foreign powers and multiple terrorist organizations. Given government inaction, private prosecutions, media scrutiny and legislative pressure are perhaps the only means by which this terror movement's Western operations can, and must, be stopped.
Sam Westrop is director of Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.