Qatar shock at al-Jazeera bombing report

By William Wallis and Roula Khalaf in The Financial Times

Qataris, including senior officials, reacted with shock on Wednesday to newspaper reports in Britain suggesting that George W Bush, the US president, had discussed bombing the Doha headquarters of the Arabic satellite TV channel al-Jazeera.

The report, in Tuesday’s edition of the British Daily Mirror, was based on what the newspaper reported were leaked minutes of a conversation between Mr Bush and Tony Blair, Britain’s prime minister, on April 16 2004.

On Tuesday the British government threatened newspapers with the Official Secrets Act if they revealed contents of the document, a move that reinforced suspicions in Qatar that the report might be genuine.

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Update: Al Jazeera staffers have set up their own blog disclosure of discussions between Bush and Blair on bombing their headquaters. It can read here