April 22, 2005

Islamic Army in Iraq Video Shows Downed Helicopter, Survivor Murdered Over Kevin Sites Video (images--UPDATED III)

UPDATE 1/25/2006: A new video posted by a terrorist group in Iraq shows a downed Blackwater chopper in Baghdad. Click link or go to MAIN PAGE for more recent news and terror videos from Iraq.
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Update: Victims' identities begin to be revealed. Scroll down for updates.

The Islamic Army in Iraq has released a videotape in which they claim responsibility for the downing of a civilian helicopter in Iraq in which 11 were killed, including 6 Americans. The Jawa Report has obtained a copy of the video. The video may be downloaded here [see April 22nd]. Extremely graphic images from the video are posted below.

The video shows the downed helicopter, which is the first civilian aircraft shot down in Iraq. In the past, the Islamic Army in Iraq has claimed to shoot down aircraft, but these were always unmanned military drones.

Of the eleven on board, one man survived, but was severely wounded. The wounded man had apparently crawled away and was hiding in tall grass some distance from the crash. The helicopter can be seeen burning in the distant background. The man's accent reveals him to be an American, not a Bulgarian or Belgian as is being reported in the press. (Update) According to this AP story, the man is positively identified as the Bulgarian pilot Lyubomir Kostov. I stand corrected. Except for the rolling of his r's, his English was perfect and American accented. (thanks to Chad for tracking this down).

Unaware of who has found him, the American says to them, "give me a hand. Give me a hand. It's broken..."

The terrorists help him up and then ask him, "Weapons?" then order him to "Go! Go!" The man is able to walk. "Carry out God's verdict," they say. They then shoot him as he holds his hand up. He is murdered in cold blood as the terrorists yell "Allahu akhbar!" shooting him over and over.

The terrorists murder the man on the video. In a statement released with the video, the Islamic Army in Iraq says they killed the man in retaliation for the "cold blood in the mosques of tireless Fallujah before the eyes of the world and on television screens, without anyone condemning them."

This is a reference to the video released by American journalist Kevin Sites showing a Marine killing a wounded Iraqi insurgent who was playing dead inside a mosque in Fallujah. The Marine was later cleared of all wrong doing. His unit had encountered this type of feigning before with tragic results.

When that video was released, The Jawa Report claimed that Sites' actions in releasing the video would directly lead to more deaths and destruction in Iraq/


Houston Chronicle:

Thursday's chartered flight was believed to be the first civilian aircraft shot down in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion two years ago. The dead included six American bodyguards for U.S. diplomats, three Bulgarian crew and two security guards from Fiji, officials said.

The helicopter went down about 12 miles north of Baghdad. Associated Press Television News footage showed burning wreckage from the craft and personal belongings scattered across a wide area.

U.S. officials could not confirm the cause of the crash. However, the Bulgarian Defense Ministry said the helicopter was struck by missile fire.

Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolai Svinarov said today the crash was a "terrorist attack," but it will not affect Bulgaria's military involvement in Iraq.

"Bulgaria should not waver under terrorist pressure," said Svinarov, whose country has a 460-member contingent in Iraq.

A group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq posted a video on the Internet Thursday purporting to show the shooting of a survivor.

The authenticity of the footage, posted on a Web forum often used by militant groups, could not be confirmed. A U.S. Embassy official in Baghdad said he had no knowledge that anyone on board survived the crash and was killed later.

"Heroes of the Islamic Army downed a transport aircraft belonging to the army of the infidels and killed its crew and those on board in the regions of al-Taji north of Baghdad," the group said in a written statement accompanying the video. "One of the crew members was captured and killed."

In the footage, which shows burning wreckage and two charred bodies, militants come across an injured man wearing a blue flightsuit lying in tall grass. His nationality was not immediately known.

"It's broken," he says in accented English, apparently referring to his leg, as militants — unseen except in brief glances — tell him to stand up. "Weapons? Weapons?" the gunmen ask him in Arabic and English as he stands uneasily.

The gunmen tell him, "Go!", and the survivor starts to hobble away, holding his hands up toward them. The gunmen then open fire, shouting "Allahu akbar!" or "God is great!" with the bullets hitting his body. They fire more shots into his body on the ground.

The six Americans were employed by Blackwater Security Consulting, a subsidiary of North Carolina-based security contractor Blackwater USA, which had four employees slain and mutilated by insurgents in Fallujah a year ago — deaths that touched off a Marine assault on insurgents in the city.

The Islamic Army statement said it killed the survivor "in revenge for the Muslims who have been killed in cold blood in the mosques of tireless Fallujah before the eyes of the world and on television screens, without anyone condemning them." It was apparently referring to the Nov. 13 shooting by an American soldier of a wounded Iraqi in a Fallujah mosque during a U.S. offensive in the city.

Developing.........

UPDATE 11:40:One victim identified as Jason Obert, of El Paso. News 4 Colorado:

A former El Paso County sheriff's deputy was among the six American contractors killed Thursday when insurgent missile fire downed a commercial helicopter outside of Baghdad, Iraq, a Colorado Springs television station reported.

Jason Obert left the sheriff's office in February to earn extra money working in Iraq for Blackwater Security Consulting, KKTV-TV reported. The company is a subsidiary of North Carolina-based Blackwater USA.

Obert is survived by a wife and two boys, the station reported.

Update II 1:55: Another victim identified. Stephen Matthew McGovern, of Danville KY. Danville Advocate Messenger:

Stephen Matthew McGovern, of Danville, has died in Iraq, his family confirmed today.

McGovern was involved in a helicopter crash, according to his stepfather, who said the family was notified Thursday night....

McGovern had been a sergeant in the National Guard with the 20th Special Forces Group in Louisville. He got out of the Guard in February, according to a spokesman there....

UPDATE III 2:35: Long-time collaborator of The Jawa Report and sometimes contributor Interested Participant hunts down a few more names.

Jim Atalifo and Timoci Lalaqila were the two Fijians killed, as reported in The Australian

The three Bulgarians are named as pilots Lyubomir Kostov and Georgi Naidenov and board-engineer Stoyan Anchev by the Bulgarian News Network.

Others covering the story: I would urge these sites NOT to link to Ogrish, which is a snuff site. An alternate video can be found at this anti-terrorism site. Ranting Profs, Michelle Malkin, Blogs of War, Hyscience, Speed of Thought, In the Bullpen, Blogger Beer, Bittersweet Me, The Tomo Report, Kill Righty, The Blue Site, Dangerous Dan, Caos Blog, Dread Pundit Bluto, Outside the Beltway, Rambling's Journal,

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW!!

I show these images because they reveal the true face of the 'insurgency we are fighting'. COLD. BLOODED. MURDERERS. AND. COWARDS.


These images are EXTREMELY GRAPHIC and ARE OFFENSIVE.

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WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW!! Last chance.......

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By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:28 AM | Comments |