Militants with the Islamic State are giants among men. Or so they’d have us believe.
Fox News reports that experts who watched the terrorist organization’s most recent video in which 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians are frog marched along a Libyan beach prior to being executed was doctored.
No one holds out hope the victims, mostly poor fishermen who had gone to Libya to scratch out a living, are still alive. But several anomalies in the video, which was posted online Feb. 15, indicated to trained eyes that at least some of the production was done on “green screen” with background added later, perhaps to disguise the real location of the atrocity. A day after the clip went viral, Egyptian warplanes struck hard at an eastern port city near Tripoli, where the video appeared to have been shot.
“The Islamic State’s manipulation of their high-production videos has become commonplace,” said Veryan Khan, editorial director of the Florida-based Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. The murders likely took place in a studio, and the background image shown was likely from another location, the Bay in Sirte, a part of the Mediterranean Sea on the northern coast of Libya, according to Khan. There are several technical mistakes in the video that show it was manipulated, she said.
The most obvious, Khan said, is the speaker, “Jihad Joseph” is much larger than the sea in both the close up and wide shots, and his head is bizarrely out of proportion, meaning he was filmed indoors and the sea added behind him, Khan said. In addition, the jihadists featured in the film look to be more than 7 feet tall, towering as much as two feet above their victims.
The question that arises is why the IS would go to such great lengths to fudge the footage. Khan maintains that the purpose is strategic: “to limit exposure to drones [and] satellite [locating of] their operations.” But another reason could be a desire to strike fear into the hearts of infidels, especially here in the West. Readers may recall that Iran back in the era of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was given to photoshopping images of missile tests and the like out of pure bravado and wishful thinking:
Does this the Islamic State is somehow weaker or less bloodthirsty than they let on? I wouldn’t bet on it.
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