Hugo Kaaman, a Swedish analyst, has revealed how Boko Haram doctored and edited a video from a 2012 air incident in Idlib, Syria, to support its argument that it shot down a Nigerian Air Force, NAF, Alpha Jet that went missing on Wednesday.
The NAF reported the plane, which was engaged in counterinsurgency operations in Borno State, missing last Wednesday evening after it lost contact with radar.
The Air Force said in an update on Friday morning that it claimed the jet had crashed, and the names of the two pilots on board the plane were also released.
But Boko Haram later released a video on Friday purportedly showing the missing Alpha jet being blown into smithereens mid-air by missiles supposedly launched by its members.
In the video, a member of the insurgent group was also seen standing on the purported wreckage of the jet while other members of the sect were also seen around the debris, removing components of the aircraft and personal effects of the pilots.
But Swedish researcher, Kaaman, said the insurgents had doctored and manipulated a video of a 2012 air incident in Syria to back their false claim of downing the NAF jet.
In a tweet with the video, Kaaman said: “Boko Haram just released a video claiming it shows a NAF jet shot down by the group. Looking at the video, it appears as if the jet explodes mid-air. However, this is not true. BH took a 2012 video showing a SyAAF helicopter exploding mid-air over Idlib and superimposed it. Weak
“Just to be clear, the jet really crashed. It’s unclear whether this was due to hostile fire or technical issues. The wreckage can be seen in the same Boko Haram video. This video merely highlights Boko Haram’s fake footage of the shootdown itself.
He also provided video proof depicting a Syaaf helicopter exploding mid-air after being struck by anti-aircraft fire over Idlib city in Syria in late 2012, as well as the false video of Boko in 2021.
According to PRNigeria, a military source with a forensic experience who was privy to the investigation of the missing aircraft, there was no projectile of a rocket or other anti-aircraft gun/missiles in the video directed at the plane.
“The Boko haram video shows different scenes with the different weather condition. Some scenes were visibly clear from sunlight and another look hazy and cloudy.
“There are also unnecessary transitions, between the time the jet was flying in the air and the time of the explosion. Even some of the ragtag Boko Haram fighters were just shooting their guns indiscriminately without aiming at the sky, ” he said.
The NAF spokesperson, Air Commodore Edward Gabwet had in a statement released after the Boko Haram video came into public domain accused the insurgent group of engaging in propaganda.
In a release captioned “Crashed NAF ALPHA JET Aircraft was not shot down by Boko Haram,” Gabwet said the video was doctored for false propaganda by terrorists.
The Air Force spokesperson said “One of such videos, in particular, began with sporadic shooting by several terrorists, including underaged children on motorcycles and vehicles. It later skipped abruptly to a scene depicting an aircraft exploding mid-air, supposedly as a result of enemy action.
“The video clip failed to show the correlation between the sporadic shooting, which even from casual observation was obviously aimed at ground targets, and the sudden mid-air aircraft explosion.
“In addition, it is almost impossible for an aircraft to have exploded mid-air, in the manner depicted in the video, and still have a good part of its fuselage, including its tail, intact. Indeed, an explosive impact of that nature would have scattered the debris of the aircraft across several miles.”