Recently the French news agency AFP reported that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) claimed responsibility for the bomb attacks in Damascus on its website.
The only trouble is, that this claim was taken from a fake Ikhwan site (now deleted) cloned by Assad loyalists. The actual site for Syria's MB is here. AFP has now altered its report while trying to maintain a stance of apparent objectivity, but is not honestly admitting to its mistake of poor fact-checking. The suspicion was clear anyway because of the language of the purported MB statement: "One of our victorious Sunni brigades…". The Ikhwan, as Michael Weiss points out, would never use such language in a press statement.
It now seems all the more likely that the bomb attacks in Damascus were staged by the Assad regime. The timing with the arrival of the Arab League delegation was more than just a coincidence, and once the claims of an al-Qa'ida strike seemed vacuous, the regime turned to pin the blame on the Syrian MB as part of its attempts to portray the opposition as primarily driven by a Sunni Islamist insurgency.
None of this is to say that Sunni Islamists are not prominent in the Syrian opposition, or that all the claims put out by the opposition are true. For example, members of the opposition have claimed that there is some "Alawite League of Coordinating Committees" in order to suggest there are emerging fractures in the Alawite community regarding support for the Assad regime. Yet as the intelligence group STRATFOR notes, this organization has turned out to be non-existent.
Furthermore, the hypocrisy of the Arab League is clear in that the head of the observer mission to investigate civilian deaths in Syria is one General Mohammed al-Dabi, who for three years headed Sudan's aggressive campaign of Islamization and Arabization against the pagan and Christian populations of what is now South Sudan. He also rose through the ranks to become head of intelligence for Omar al-Bashir, who is now wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide.
Nonetheless, this story is testimony to how mainstream media outlets are just as capable of falling for the propaganda of a regime that cannot be morally equated with the opposition.
Update: All Al-Qa'ida affiliates- including the Lebanese 'Abdullah Azzam Brigades' which the Lebanese Defense Minister claimed was pouring into Syria- have disavowed responsibility for the attacks in Damascus. Contrast with how al-Qa'ida affiliates normally claim responsibility for bomb attacks on civilians, such as the recent wave of bombings in Baghdad. All this only renders the regime's claims on the issue even more implausible.