• AFP examines claims that video of American reporter James Foley being executed was a staged fakery.
By Pete Papaherakles —
On August 20, the White House confirmed the authenticity of a gruesome video showing the beheading of American reporter James Wright “Jim” Foley by the terrorist group called Islamic State (IS).
The video shows a black-masked IS militant beheading Foley in retaliation for American airstrikes against the group in Iraq. But some skeptics are calling into question the veracity of the video, saying it may have been staged. Could the fake beheading have simply been a ploy to escalate United States involvement in another war in Iraq?
In a press conference, President Barack Obama said: “We will be vigilant. We will be relentless. . . . When people harm Americans anywhere, we do whatever is necessary to see that justice is done. There has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread.”
IS presents a greater threat to the U.S. than al Qaeda and must be defeated, the Pentagon has said. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel added: “They are tremendously well-funded. This is beyond anything we’ve seen.”
The question of who is funding them remains, since most of the equipment IS received is American made, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Mossad trained some of its leaders. It has also been documented that al Qaeda and IS are one and the same.
On August 25, The Times of London interviewed a video expert, who said that the video of a British jihadist beheading an American hostage was probably a fake. While he did not deny that the killing took place, he said it most likely occurred off camera.
“I think it has been staged,” a visual forensics expert, who was not identified, told the Times after scrutinizing the four-minute, 40-second film.
“First, although the masked jihadist can be seen repeatedly drawing the knife [at least six times] across the 40-year-old war reporter’s neck, no actual incisions were visible,” the analyst said. “Similarly, there didn’t appear to be any blood spilling from Foley’s throat, and the sounds he made at the moment of his death didn’t sound right.” A careful listen reveals that the sound is akin to a “baah” sound of a lamb being slaughtered.
The Times also wrote that British intelligence agents were close to identifying the masked extremist who appears in the video holding the knife to Foley’s throat. He is believed to be Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, a 23-year-old London rapper and the son of an Egyptian militant.
But beyond the video likely being staged, a comparison between Foley in the beheading video and previous video footage of Foley in 2011, before his kidnapping, shows differences between the two, say skeptics of the video’s authenticity. The voice and speech pattern is different as are facial features and skin tone. The “new” Foley also has a thicker neck and a fleshier face, they insist.
Skeptics are also concerned by the behavior of the grieving parents at the press conference and the reactions of Foley’s siblings, Kate and Michael, during a television news interview with talking head Katie Couric. While brother Michael seems to be wiping non-existent tears from his eye, just like critics say of President Obama after the Sandy Hook shooting event, sister Kate can’t control her laughter and repeatedly giggles throughout the interview, a strange reaction for one whose brother was ostensibly publicly beheaded only two days earlier. Some insist she is a “crisis actor,” while others insist her behavior is absolutely normal.
UK news website “The Daily Mail” reported that Foley may have been murdered by IS a year ago, citing Syrian President Bashar Assad’s official spokesperson, Bouthaina Shaaban.
“James Foley was first arrested by the Free Syrian Army and he was sold to ISIS,” said Shaaban. “You can check with the UN. . . . James Foley was killed a year ago, not now. They only released the pictures now. We have definite information. The UN has the information.”
In light of this, it appears evident that the beheading was a fake. But there is more.
Obama first ordered airstrikes against IS on August 7 due to a story that 40,000 Christians were “stranded on a mountain” in Iraq with no food or water while ISIS waited to kill them if they tried to escape. However, in the September 1 issue of AMERICAN FREE PRESS, former Representative Ron Paul told of how the story was fabricated and that only 2,000 people were on the mountain—most of whom had lived there for years and weren’t looking to be rescued.
Was the Foley “beheading” purportedly done in retaliation for the U.S. airstrikes, another staged event by the CIA and Mossad to give Obama and the neocons an excuse to attack Iraq again and then enter Syria to take out President Assad?
Pete Papaherakles is a writer and political cartoonist for AFP and is also AFP’s outreach director. Pete is interested in getting AFP writers and editors on the podium at patriotic events. Call him at 202-544-5977 if you know of an event you think AFP should attend.