National Post and the Telegraph. — August 25, 2014
Video showing a suspected British jihadist beheading an American journalist in Syria may have been staged, according to forensic analysis.
An international forensic science group — which often works for British police services — suggested the footage likely does not show James Foley’s actual killing at the hands of a masked man from the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham.
The Times of London commissioned the company to analyze the video. After making enhancements, it found no evidence of blood even when the masked man draws the knife across Mr. Foley’s neck six times. There was also no incision visible on his neck, analysts said.
The sounds Foley apparently makes aren’t consistent with “what may be expected,” the report says.
But the analysis did not dispute that the beheading took place at some point.
“I think it has been staged,” one analyst told the Times. “My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped.”
The video was shot with two cameras, the analysis found. A “blip” during Mr. Foley’s statement near the start of the video suggests that he might have needed to repeat a line.
The company referred to in the Times report was anonymous and did not reach a “definitive answer.”
Meanwhile, Eliot Higgins, a Leicester-based video and photo analyst who specializes in Syria, has methodically analyzed the five-minute video in an attempt to pinpoint where it happened.
For more analysis and videos that call into question the official version of James Foley’s ‘beheading’ see our James Foley Beheading archive.