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D.C. insecurity

Jun 16, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Al-Jazeera, the controversial Arab-language satellite TV network, is hardly the first to have a landlord-tenant problem. But it has scored dubious bragging rights in Washington as one of the few denied a lease due to concerns it is a security risk. Al-Jazeera has been trying to sublease space from U.S.-based Conus Communications. It is already in the building on K Street but the landlord, Cafritz Co., has refused the sublet. Terry O’Reilly, Conus president, said Cafritz cited “the potential for security problems and the concern over how other people perceive Al-Jazeera.” Mr. O’Reilly said Cafritz has denied Al-Jazeera such amenities as parking, the right to install a high-speed Internet line and satellite dishes. Reps for Cafritz did not return calls. Mr. O’Reilly said Conus has filed suit: “They have yet to voluntarily give us a good excuse, so we’re going to go to district court and let them give the excuse to the judge.” Stephanie Thomas, Al-Jazeera’s D.C. bureau manager, added, “We’re hoping the result of Conus’ lawsuit is a sublease.”