May 08, 2006

Atwar Bahjat Beheading Video a Hoax (Images / Video)

****Jawa Report Exclusive****

A gruesome beheading video delivered to the Sunday Times purporting to be of slain journalist Atwar Bahjat is a hoax. On Sunday, May 7th, the Times reported that they had received a low-quality video of Atwar Bahjat being slowly beheaded. That video is now being circulated on the internet as the "Atwar Bahjat" beheading video.

The Jawa Report can reveal that the Times and Halal Jabar, the author of the article, are victims of a hoax. The video actually shows the gruesome murder of a Nepalese man by the Army of Ansar al-Sunna in Iraq from August of 2004. The man was one of 12 victims executed by the terrorist organization--the other 11 were shot (original story, video, and images of 12 Nepalese murdered in Iraq here).

The Times describes the Nepalese murder video precisely. However, the video delivered to the Times was actually a low-quality version of a much higher quality film originally made by Ansar al-Sunnah. The Times video also is edited to exclude the murder of the other 11 hostages.

The Army of Ansar al-Sunna has murdered dozens of civilians in Iraq. The organization is an offshoot of the Army of Ansar al-Islam--a Kurdish Islamist organization. The group routinely murders those suspected of collaborating with the U.S. and Iraqi governments. Before the group murders their hostages they accuse them of 'apostasy', a crime punishable by death under Islamic law. They therefore justify their murders as 'executions' for 'crimes' committed against Islam.

Halal Jabar describes the video in the Sunday Times, but leaves out that you can hear the victim gasping for breath through the hole in his severed neck:

By the time filming begins, the condemned woman has been blindfolded with a white bandage.

It is stained with blood that trickles from a wound on the left side of her head. She is moaning, although whether from the pain of what has already been done to her or from the fear of what is about to be inflicted is unclear. ...

A large man dressed in military fatigues, boots and cap approaches from behind and covers her mouth with his left hand. In his right hand, he clutches a large knife with a black handle and an 8in blade. He proceeds to cut her throat from the middle, slicing from side to side.

Her cries — “Ah, ah, ah” — can be heard above the “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) intoned by the holder of the mobile phone.

Even then, there is no quick release for Bahjat. Her executioner suddenly stands up, his job only half done. A second man in a dark T-shirt and camouflage trousers places his right khaki boot on her abdomen and pushes down hard eight times, forcing a rush of blood from her wounds as she moves her head from right to left.

Only now does the executioner return to finish the task. He hacks off her head and drops it to the ground, then picks it up again and perches it on her bare chest so that it faces the film-maker in a grotesque parody of one of her pieces to camera.

Greyhawk tipped us to the possibility that the video delivered to the Times was not authentic. This image from Getty shows the corpse of Bahjat, apparently shot by terrorists, in February.

Soon afterward, jihadi forums began to circulate the phony video. Thanks to Baf Baf for much of the legwork in helping figure out which video the hoax had been made from.

The Times reported that the film was delivered to them by Sunni insurgents and said that it had been found on the mobile phone of a dead Shia militant. The article erroneously tries to blame Bahjat's murder on Shia militias, and uses the false video as evidence of growing civil strife in Iraq.

The video, in fact, actually shows an "infidel" being murdered by a Sunni Salaafist terrorist organization with ties to al Qaeda. Related from Jeff Goldstein on why this matters. Neo-neocon as well.

Earlier report: The Bloody Murder of Muslim Jouralist Atwar Bahjat

Here is a link to the original video being circulated on jihadi discussion boards as the Atwar Bahjat beheading video (WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC). Disgusting, cruel, and graphic images from it are posted below.

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UPDATE: Just for the sake of clarity, Bahjat was murdered in a cruel way. The fact that this video is a hoax should not distract us from that fact. Whoever murdered her deserves the severist punishment available. [And by 'hoax' I do not mean to imply the video is fake, only its attribution. For some reason some Islamist scumbag thought it would be funny/scary/useful to send out an old video and label it 'Bahjat'.]
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UPDATE 2: Al Arabiya (Arabic) is now confirming the tape was a hoax (via Abu Aardvark).
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UPDATE 3: Ogrish now reporting same.
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UPDATE 4: Here is a translated version of the al Arabiya article. Bahjat was a reporter for al Arabiya. It claims that the Atwar Bahjat hoax video is for sale on CD-ROM on the Baghdad streets:

It was published this tape in Arabic forums on the Internet, as well as news of the British newspaper quoted several Arab newspapers. The sources also stated that the tape recording sold on CD-ROM in the streets of Baghdad.
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UPDATE 5: I don't know how I overlooked this, but apparantly The Jawa Report's Mike Pechar had been on this from the beginning. From our February post on Atwar Bahjat's murder:
Their bullet-riddled bodies were found by their vehicle near the town of Dawr. Notably, by all indications, these journalists were specifically targeted.
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Why do we show these images? So you can see the cruel and barbaric deeds of the enemies we fight in Iraq and around the globe.

The Western press has no problem with showing you the misdeeds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq--misdeeds that are punished--but will not show you what our enemies are like. The hypocrisy of a media which has no problem characterizing prisoner abuse as 'torture'--- and endlessly publishes photos of a woman laughing at nude prisoners---but refuses to show you what our enemies routinely do to prisoners. Torture them, murder them, and behead them.

WARNING: DO NOT PROCEED. GRAPHIC IMAGES.

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WARNING: DO NOT PROCEED. GRAPHIC IMAGES.

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These are images from the Atwar Bahjat beheading video hoax. Who would be so disgusting as to wish us to believe the journalist was beheaded this way?

Atwar_Bahjat_behead_hoax2.jpg

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Atwar_Bahjat_behead_hoax4.jpg

Atwar_Bahjat_behead_hoax.jpg

Here are images from our original report about the hostages from Nepal being murdered. Clearly, the two are the same.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 12:35 PM | Comments |