Journalist Mehdi Hasan has not been arrested by the U.S. Navy JAG

By: Ankita Kulkarni
January 16 2024

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Journalist Mehdi Hasan has not been arrested by the U.S. Navy JAG

Screenshot showing the image included in the viral posts. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The claims made in the viral post are baseless and have emerged from a website that publishes fabricated content.

Claim ID d9316eec

What is the claim?

A screenshot of an article claiming journalist Mehdi Hasan has been arrested is circulating on social media. A Facebook post (archived here) shared the screenshot, which had a picture of him with the headline, "JAG Arrests Mehdi Hasan." The article text in the screenshot alleges that Hasan was arrested for “broadcasting false information on COVID-19 vaccine” to viewers. 

This narrative is also circulating on X (formerly Twitter) and the archived versions of such posts can be viewed here, here, and here

Screenshot shows viral posts circulating on social media. (Source: Facebook/X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

What we found 

A search for the headline seen in the screenshot led us to the conspiratorial website called Real Raw News, dated January 9, 2024 (archived here). The story offers no substantiating evidence to the claim and credits all its information to “JAG sources” with no further details.

A Google search did not yield any results to support the claim and research showed us that the image in the viral posts is taken from a video posted on X by Hasan’s official account on January 8, 2024. The caption read, “Some personal news: I've decided to leave MSBNC.New year, new plans, new challenges.”

The clip is from the day's "The Mehdi Hasan Show," when he announced that he was leaving MSNBC “to look for a new challenge.” The Real Raw News article claims that Hasan was already in custody and was being taken to a military processing center when the clip aired. It also claims that this clip shows “a CGI Hasan using pieced-together audio clips.” However, we could determine that the video is authentic, and was also uploaded on MSNBC’s YouTube channel with the title, “Mehdi Hasan bids farewell to MSNBC.” Hasan also shared the news on his Facebook page dated January 10, the day after his alleged arrest. This also shows that the article in question includes fabricated content. 

The journalist has also been active on his official X account since and has reshared multiple posts from different users regarding the upcoming 2024 presidential elections in the U.S. 

Additionally, the U.S. Posse Comitatus Act passed in 1878 prohibits the use of Federal troops (Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, or the Space Force) to arrest civilians and enforce civilian law unless doing so is authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress. There was no such legislation about Hasan’s arrest and similar similar announcements to this would have been reported by major news publications.

Logically Facts has reached out to Hasan for a comment and will update the story with the response if and when we receive it. 

Moreover, Real Raw News has been called out several times for publishing misinformation. Logically Facts has debunked many of its claims which can be read here, here, here, and here

A disclaimer on its website states that the "information of this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire." However, an analysis by Logically Facts, found that it does not explicitly mention which stories are satire and the disclaimer was added sometime in April 2021.

The verdict

There is no evidence that journalist Mehdi Hasan has been arrested. The journalist has been active on his official X account ever since the story about his purported arrest was published on a website known to spread misinformation. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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