While there have been many suggestions, some of very dubious nature others not so much, that the ISIS video showing the execution of James Foley may have been staged, faked or otherwise fabricated (especially after Scotland Yard warned that sharing or merely viewing the infamous YouTube clip of Foley's murder is a crime and is punishable under anti-terror laws, stunning virtually everyone), it wasn't until today that an actual forensic expert opined - apparently one who isn't afraid of the criminal charges headed their way - that something may be wrong with the 4 minute 40-second clip. The Telegraph reports that an "international forensic science company which has worked for police forces across Britain, suggested camera trickery and slick post-production techniques appear to have been used."
While the expert analysis does not deny that the video ends with the death of Foley, it alleges that the execution itself may have been staged, "with the actual murder taking place off-camera." In other words, the implication is that the British jihadist in the film may have been the frontman rather than the killer. Which also means that the manic scramble that has gripped the UK to identify "Jihadi John" may be one giant misdirection whose purpose is not quite clear.
The Telegraph continues:
A forensic analyst told The Times that no blood can be seen, even though the knife is drawn across the neck area at least six times.
“After enhancements, the knife can be seen to be drawn across the upper neck at least six times, with no blood evidence to the point the picture fades to black,” the analysis said.
Sounds allegedly made by Foley do not appear consistent with what may be expected.
During Foley’s speech, there appears to be a blip which could indicate the journalist had to repeat a line.
One expert commissioned to examine the footage was reported as saying: “I think it has been staged. My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped.”
However the company, which requested anonymity, did not reach a definitive answer.
Nonetheless, it concluded: “No one is disputing that at some point an execution occurred.”
Still, if even one part of the clip is questioned, it opens up a whole can of worms, with a plethora of questions suddenly demanding an answer: why the manic pursuit to prohibit dissemination and viewing of the video? After all, over a decade ago the beheading of Daniel Pearl by Al Qaeda also was available on the web, and there was no talk of criminal charges against anyone who shared the video, let alone merely viewed it. Also, why fake the execution scene, and what goal does ISIS really pursue with the release of the tape? Finally, if indeed the video was staged and "post-produced", who was directing, and why?
And then, if one proceeds along this path of asking questions, there many other, far more "conspiratorial" questions emerge if the coherent plotline behind the video as presented for public consumption, or rather the prohibition thereof, unravels. But we will leave those for another night.