Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Bruno” did well over the weekend, but an obvious consequence of this type of filmmaking, like with “Borat,” are the lawsuits it will draw. But the latest complaint against Baron Cohen isn’t from someone who says they were duped by someone who says they were slanderously labeled a “terrorist leader” in the film.
The character Bruno is a flamboyant Austrian television host who moves to Los Angeles to become “the biggest Austrian star since Hitler.” At one point in the movie, whose $30 million weekend topped the U.S. box office, Bruno meets [Ayman Abu] Aita, depicted as a terrorist group leader from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, in a bid to seduce the jihadist group into kidnapping him so Bruno can become famous.
The Brigades is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shootings and deadly rocket attacks against Israeli civilian population centers.
Aita, however, is not exactly a terrorist. At least not anymore.
Aita is a representative of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party to the West Bank town of Beit Sahor, which is a satellite of Bethlehem. Aita also is a board member of the Holy Land Trust, a nongovernmental organization promoting Palestinian rights and commitment to nonviolence.
Aita served in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades from 2000 until 2003, after which he did a two year stint in Israeli prison on accusations he was involved in shootings against Israeli soldiers operating in Bethlehem. Still, according to Israeli security sources speaking to WND, Aita, while a member of the Brigades, once worked with Jewish state officials to return two Israeli reserve soldiers who had gotten lost in Bethlehem.
In the above video, Baron Cohen talks with David Letterman about his decision to interview a terrorist. In fact, it’s not that difficult for journalist to get interviews with terrorists. But they probably need to be a bit less flaming than Bruno.