February 01, 2005
Terrorists Threaten to Behead US Soldier John Adam (Update: HOAX!!)
We will post video as soon as it becomes available. Reuters:
A little-known Iraqi insurgent group said on Tuesday it was holding a U.S. soldier and threatened to kill him within 72 hours if Iraqi prisoners were not released, according to an Internet statement.Developing....
"Our mujahideen ... have managed to capture the American soldier John Adam after killing a number of his colleagues," said the Mujahideen Squadrons in the undated statement.
It carried a picture appearing to show a U.S. soldier sitting in front of a black banner with a rifle pointed at his head. The authenticity of the claim, which did not say where the man was seized, could not be verified.
"We will cut his throat in 72 hours if our male and female prisoners in the occupation jails are not released," it said.
A group using the same name, Mujahideen Squadrons, last month claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of a Brazilian engineer in Iraq.
Update: Kevin Aylward chimes in
If you think that there's something odd about the picture you're not alone. My bullshit meter went off immediately. The size of the head looks all wrong, like the picture was created in Photoshop.Let me just ad this: Why isn't the "terrorist" holding an AK-47?? Let's hope Kevin's hunch is right....
Update II: Evan Kohlman writes:
1.) The soldier is seen seated in front of the trademark rising sun banner of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qaida faction in Iraq. Yet, this was not the group that took credit for the kidnapping. In fact, no credible representative from Zarqawi's group has yet taken credit for this kidnapping.UPDATE III: CNN (h/t: Venom)
2.) As pointed out by several colleagues, the boots and uniform worn by "John Adam" are not U.S. military issue. For that matter, where is John Adam's name patch on his uniform?
Marks, a retired Army general, said he has several questions about the photograph's authenticity.UPDATE IV: Bloggers expose the hoax!!! I knew this was a fake, but a freaking G.I. Joe doll???
A flak jacket the man is wearing in the picture has an unfamiliar kind of piping or trim along its edges, Marks said. The man's open-legged pants, as opposed to gathered hems, seem odd, he said.
Marks also questioned what appeared to be camouflage paint on the man's face. "We have not used camo paint with conventional forces serving in Iraq," Marks said.
Click for bigger image
I'm happy to have been in on this expose from the beginning. Jeff Quinton has a good run down of the progression, starting with Kevin Aylward, my own, and Evan Kohlman's (who e-mailed me early about the hoax and who will be on MSNBC's Keith Olbermann @ 8:00 p.m.) questions. Others involved in the expose seem to be Michelle Cantalano (who gives the credit to Total Farkers).
Something seemed fishy from the start. I started looking through my photo archives to see if I could match the banner. Unfortunately I had this thing called 'a job' where I had to be in class to 'teach'. Damn, the blogosphere works fast!!
Note to self:
Calculate probability that the hoax was generated by an American--very likely because this is, after all, a G.I. Joe doll.
Next, calculate probability that an American would have the wherewithall to post the 'hostage photo' at a website run entirely in Arabic---hmm, very unlikely.
Last, calculate probability that the culprit is an Arab-American..........