Channel 4 News has been forced to backtrack after mistakenly identifying the Westminster terrorist during a live broadcast – despite the fact that the man they named is currently serving a sentence in prison and could not possibly have been the attacker.
Senior home affairs correspondent Simon Israel told viewers that the name of the man who killed a police officer and two civilians yesterday was believed to be Abu Izzadeen, formerly known as Trevor Brooks.
But during the broadcast Izzadeen’s brother called in to Channel 4 News to clarify that he was behind bars for an unrelated matter. Andrew Neil also reported that Izzadeen’s solicitor said he was currently in prison.
Channel 4 said in a statement: “On tonight’s Channel 4 News, senior home affairs correspondent Simon Israel quoted a source as saying that the name of the Westminster attacker was believed to be Abu Izzadeen, formerly known as Trevor Brooks.
“During the course of the programme, conflicting information came to light. Channel 4 News is currently looking into this.”
The programme’s editor, Ben de Pear also tweeted, stating that “trusted correspondent” Israel has “rarely been wrong; tonight he was”.
An Ofcom spokesman said the watchdog had received a complaint about the incident and would assess the complaint before deciding whether or not to investigate.