Monday 8 April 2013

Video Claims To Show The Moment Of Mohammad Al-Bouti's Assassination

A very unusual video has been posted online today that claims to show the assassination Dr. Mohammad Said Ramadan al-Bouti, who was reportedly killed in a suicide attack in Damascus on March 22nd (graphic)

There's obviously some questions of authenticity when it comes to videos like this, so let's take a look at two still images, one from the video, and one from state media

Although the quality of the video is poor, and the smoke from the apparent explosion obscures finer details, a few things do stand out.  The white objects on the right of the table appears to match, as does the damage to the mosaic.  The furniture and stripes on the wall appear to match as well, so either this is an extremely elaborate fake, or a genuine video.

The question is then, what does this show? Some people have queried the actions of the first man who approaches him, suggesting he could be stabbing Al-Bouti, while others think he's trying to pull Al-Bouti out of the way.  It's something that will certainly be looked at very closely in the coming days, and is sure to generate a lot of discussion.

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  1. Interesting that video is 30 seconds, and the one Enduring America thinks is original posted in Facebook is 29 seconds.

    "Here's what we know. That is Mohamed al-Bouti, and that looks like the Eman Mosque. From this video, this event shows none of the marks of a car bomb, which matches our initial suggestion that the bomb looked like it went off inside the mosque. More interestingly, this may put to rest the question of whether Bouti was assassinated or whether he was collateral damage - he appears to be the target of this attack.

    There are many questions about this bizarre video, however. For starters, we appear to be watching video of another screen, perhaps a cell phone or camera, that is playing the video. In other words, we're watching a video of a video. The camera inside the mosque may be hidden. When the explosion goes off, a hole can be seen, perhaps the hole through which the camera is taking the video. In fact, the camera appears to be pushed back and knocked slightly off angle by the explosion. But who filmed this and why was it kept secret? Where is this camera and why does the "hole" visible in the middle of the video then disappear. We have theories, but we're still analyzing the video.

    Then there is the mystery of the people who respond to Bouti after the explosion. In particular, the "man in black" approaches Bouti, and then he slumps over. People have suggested that he is attacking Bouti. We're not convinced. Bouti is clearly alive during this incident, though very injured, and so the "man in black" may have been trying to help Bouti when he collapsed. Then the man went to the left side of this shot to see if he could help him, but Bouti was carried off the right side. That may be the same man seen in the end, but further analysis is required.

    We'll reanalyze this video as best we can in the coming hours. We're pretty confident that this video is not faked, in the sense that we're confident that this is Bouti speaking, and the explosion seems to gravely injure him, and his injuries in the video seem to match the injuries to Bouti's body. As for the rest of this, we'll continue to analyze the video."
    - Enduring America liveblog

    The discrepancy of lengths could be some sort of rounding difference between FB and YouTube.

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