MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) - The video documenting the beheading of US journalist James Foley may have been staged, with the actual murder happening off-camera, The Australian reported Monday, citing a forensic analysis of the tape.
“I think it was staged. My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped,” an expert is cited as saying by the newspaper.
The analysis of the video points out a number of discrepancies that make it likely that the actual murder did not take place on-camera. There are several reasons that experts cited which could make one doubt the authenticity of the video.
No blood can be seen when the knife is drawn across the neck area and no incision can be noticed. They also say that sounds allegedly made by Foley do not seem consistent with what may be expected.
The experts do not deny the fact of the murder itself, however, doubting only whether it actually took place in the video or not.
On August 19, the Islamic State (IS) released a video on YouTube showing a masked man beheading Foley, who was taken prisoner in northwest Syria in November 2012. The journalist’s executioner said Foley was killed because US President Barack Obama had ordered airstrikes against IS positions in northern Iraq that hampered its advance.
On August 12, the family of James Foley received a letter from IS militants that warned of the journalist’s execution. The letter was published by GlobalPost with the Foley family’s consent to provide transparency and tell the journalist’s story in full.
IS also claimed to be holding another US journalist, Steven Sotloff, who appears at the end of the video, and said his life depended on Obama’s next move.