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Yankee Hurra for Europe

Channel hopes to begin b'casting in fall

In its war against Islamic extremism the Bush administration is showing no mercy, announcing that it plans to launch round-the-clock television programming aimed at European Muslims.

The U.S. government already sponsors an Arab-language satellite channel, al-Hurra, which spreads positive words about American life and values to counter massive anti-American sentiment in the Middle East.

But administration officials now think the more appropriate target audience is in Europe.

After all, most of the 9/11 hijackers had spent significant time in Europe, and authorities have cautioned that the train bombings in Madrid last year suggest European Muslim extremists are a growing threat.

The administration has earmarked $3.5 million to fund programming intended to persuade Europe’s Muslim population that America isn’t the Great Satan that people like Osama bin Laden have claimed. Al-Hurra, which is headquartered in Virginia, hopes to start broadcasting by the fall.

Bin Laden could not be reached for comment.

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