A bogus article posted yesterday claims that a Guantanamo Bay detainee exchanged for Bowe Bergdahl is now an ISIS commander. The claim is fake.
This story hails from a website that is notorious for publishing fictional news accounts that are supposed to be taken as satire. This website is called National Report.
The article details an account of how one of the handful of Guantanamo Bay captives exchanged for the release of Bowe Bergdahl was now an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader active inside of Iraq. It goes on to aggravate speculations that the exchange was a careless illegality, and claims that the Obama Administration might have had added the former prisoner to a drone strike list in an attempt at damage control. Also included is a fake quotation from Senator John McCain.
To recap, this write-up is fictional.
This imitative news story is one of the latest by National Report to take off in viral fashion. Apparently this occurs when disgruntled readers believe the account and take to social media to spread the headlines.
Previously National Report had presented a disclaimer which enlightened readers as to the fictional and satirical nature of their articles. However, this clause has disappeared in the past year and been replaced with one that only declares that the site is not intended for individuals under the age of 18.
Their tagline claims that they are “America’s #1 Independent News Source”, and another claim on the site expressed that they cover politics “from the perspective of traditional conservatism”.
Perusing article comments supposedly left by readers reveals a succession of critical opinions and disagreements on political matters. These include critiques on President Obama, Bowe Bergdahl, and the legality of the captive exchange for Bergdahl’s release. None of the commentary exposes the narrative as fictional, and it may be likely that site moderators obstruct any observations of this nature.
A terrorist exchanged for Bowe Bergdahl has not become a top ISIS commander. National Report, the website which published the article, is a well-known creator of satirical and fictional material that is presented as real news.