World

Did Iraqis Stage Fake Car Bomb Terrorist Attack? (Video)

| by Michael Allen

A video (below) has been making the rounds on the web that some feel shows a fake terrorist attack in Baghdad, Iraq.

In the video, an unidentified man is doing something inside a parked car, and then he quickly leaves the scene in a truck, reported the Daily Star.

A bomb goes off, and the car blows up. That part is definitely real.

However, seconds later, several people rush toward the wreckage and begin falling on the ground as if they were wounded.

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Moments later a van, possibly an ambulance, arrives to load the "victims." One man is actually dragged to the van, which doesn't seem to follow any kind of medical protocol for a bombing victim.

The video appears to be filmed from a surveillance camera's monitor, and is time-stamped Oct. 30.

Several news media sites reported a car bombing in Baghdad on Oct. 30. For example, Reuters noted:

A car bomb parked in a shopping street of a Shi'ite district of Baghdad killed at least eight people and wounded more than 30 others on Sunday, police and medical staff said. The bombing, which hit the Hurriya district, came as Iraqi security forces are engaged in an offensive to take back Mosul, Islamic State's last major city stronghold in Iraq. It wasn't clear if there was a suicide driver in the car.

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Bellingcat, a site that says it does open source and social media investigations, noted that RT Arabic News posted a video Oct. 31 (one day after the explosion) that shows the site of the bomb blast reported by Reuters and other news sources. Pictures from the explosion scene, taken by Associated Press photographer Karim Kadim on Oct. 31, appear to match the RT Arabic News footage.

The surveillance video that shows the staged victims was originally uploaded to Twitter by Question Mark (short version) and the Iraqi Network Press Plus (longer version) on Oct. 31, notes Bellingcat. Another video and pictures that resemble the surveillance video were uploaded on the Al-Hurriyah City Facebook page Oct. 30.

The big question is: Does the surveillance video location match up with the RT Arabic News/AP location?

Bellingcat notes that the trees in the surveillance video appear to be red, but that could be a surveillance camera color correction issue.

A broadcast news video (i.e. RT Arabic News) is almost always going to be color corrected with a vectorscope, but that type of professional TV engineering may not happen with an inexpensive surveillance camera.

The fire in the surveillance video has a pinkish color to it, suggesting the color is off mark. Other colors in the surveillance video appear to be washed out.

Bellingcat concludes:

All footage related to the car bomb incident was photographed or filmed at the same location in the Al-Hurriyah neighbourhood in north(west) Baghdad, Iraq (where);

A car bomb indeed exploded in this street, but the only footage of the explosion shows that the casualties were pretending to be injured or dead. There is no open source information about a second car bomb in the Al-Hurriyah neighbourhood or wider Baghdad;

RT Arabic and AP have published footage of the site of the staged car bomb explosion and claimed it was the location of a car bomb that killed several individuals. However, open source information suggests otherwise.

Surveillance Video - Oct. 30

Sources: Daily Star, Reuters, Bellingcat / Photo credit: LiveLeak via YouTube

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