The journalist in me insists that an article as significant as 
this one requires some independent verification.  This is ever 
more hard to do, but still possible, and the best place to start 
is with the source of the original information, which usually 
gives clues to its validity.

Look at the title and author of the article:

Apocalypse Now, or Alottanukes Soon 
By Pepe Escobar

"Alottanukes Soon" is not the sort of title I would expect to 
see in a professional magazine or journal.  It is the sort of 
title I would expect my friends to make up when joking around 
on a weekend evening.  This, in and of itself, of course does 
not make the article untrue.  It is just a flag.

Here is a better flag:

Asia Times
Front Page
Article withdrawn.

This article was based on an interview that appears to have been 
a hoax. For more information, please click on the link

Asia Times Online
6306 The Center
Queen’s Road, Central
Hong Kong

My next step would have been to verify whether or not this is a 
legitimate publication:

"... the prestigious Arab-language daily Al Quds Al Arabi, 
edited in London, but it was not printed."

An article such as this one would most certainly have been 
printed if it could have been verified.  I did not bother to 
check to see if Al Quds Al Arabi is real or not.

And to have printed this disclaimer

"Asia Times Online has obtained a copy of the interview, and 
reproduces excerpts here, with the caveat that the identity 
of the man has not yet been confirmed, nor has his membership 
within al-Qaeda."

is irresponsible journalism, IMO.  A reputable publisher would 
have insisted on some form of confirmation.

Finally, a search of the internet will show there are several 
different variations of this interview out there, similar in 
substance and differing in detail.

It's the details that are important and that give the best clues.

Larry Jackson

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