Al Jazeera's director-general Wadah Khanfar abruptly resigned on Tuesday after running the company for eight years and spreading the brand around the world. With few clues in Al Jazeera's straight-forward report on the matter, everybody is scrambling to figure out exactly what's going on. The official reason from Khanfar is that he's "decided to move on" because he considers his work at Al Jazeera a job well done. "Upon my appointment, the Chairman and I set a goal to establish Al Jazeera as global media leader and we have agreed that this target has been met and that the organization is in a healthy position," he wrote in a memo to his staff upon departure. But his resignation comes only a few days after WikiLeaks cables put Khanfar is a compromising position. As The New York Times explains, "Wadah Khanfar's resignation follows release of documents by Wikileaks, purporting to show he had close ties with the U.S. and agreed to remove some content in response to American objections."
"WikiLeaks topples Al Jazeera director," reads the headline at Al Jazeera's competitor Middle East Online. But so far, WikiLeaks has been reticent to take credit. After tweeting news of Khanfar's resignation, the WikiLeaks floated a few speculative theories about what happened behind the scene but took care to draw attention to coverage of their cables' role in the event. "AP story on Khanfar's resignation seems to buy into the WikiLeaks explanation," they tweeted Tuesday afternoon. "But Qatari dynamics not covered."