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Spanish reporter apologizes after Star Wars symbol used for al-Qaeda

Emma Anderson · 17 Nov 2015, 11:31

Published: 17 Nov 2015 11:31 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Nov 2015 11:31 GMT+01:00

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During TVE's morning news show La Mañana on Monday, one reporter got his fact and fiction a bit confused.

The show was focused on discussing the Paris terror attacks that killed 129 people on Friday and went on to give details about France launching strikes against Isis stronghold Raqqa in Syria.

While explaining the history of the city, reporter Jota Abril says that "it was one of the first cities taken in 2013 by terrorist groups, but terrorist groups from al-Qaeda," pointing to a black symbol with what looks like al-Qaeda written below it. 

But that black symbol represents a different kind of fighter group - Luke Skywalker's fictional Rebel Alliance that combats Darth Vader's forces in the Star Wars films.

The mistake was spotted by Matthew Bennett of The Spain Report on Monday morning, who tweeted about the error.

Abril apologized on Twitter for the mistake, saying: "This morning I confused a logo in an explanation during the programme. My own fault. I am sorry if it offended anyone."

But the apology was too late. A Vine of his flub has been seen more than 50,000 times and mockery continued to pour in on Twitter.

"For TVE yesterday, the Rebel Alliance from Star Wars were terrorists and today it appears that George Bush is the Emperor. Everything adds up."

"Thank you to TVE for teaching us that Al Qaeda is in reality the Rebel Alliance from Star Wars. I always suspected it."

Some did offer support, with one Twitter user writing in response to Abril's apology that "I don't believe you were the ultimate one responsible, Jota. I don't believe it. A hug: I know that what is happening is terrible".

It seems that the mix-up may have occurred because of a reggaeton record label called Alqaeda Inc, whose logo uses the Rebel Alliance symbol, and appears to be the same as the image Abril chose.


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Emma Anderson (emma.anderson@thelocal.com)

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