A video showing the murder of an American journalist by a member of the Islamic State is being questioned. Experts who have analysed the video have suggested that the beheading was not legit, but rather staged.
When initial reports were released that the beheading of American journalist James Foley were actually staged, many wrote it off as more rhetoric from conspiracy theorists. As news continues to roll out, it appears there is some legitimacy to the story. A forensics expert spoke to the Times of London on Monday and noted that, while Foley's murder isn't in question, the actual visual of his beheading is. According to the source, the murder of Foley was done off camera.
"My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped," the analyst told the Times of London. "I think it has been staged," he noted, highlighting specific evidence after carefully examining the 40 second video released last week. The analyst notes that in the video, the masked figure is seen moving the knife across Foley's throat, but never actually made contact. No blood is ever shown coming from Foley and the sounds he makes at the time of his death don't seem consistent with other audio in the video.
Another piece of evidence suggests that Foley seems to pause while speaking in the video, as if he was reading from prepared cue cards. As the beheading is about to begin, the films fades to black before returning to a visual of Foley, already beheaded, lying on the ground faced down, with his head placed on his back.
Recent reports have noted that the man behind the mask in the video was Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, a 23 year old rapper out of London. President Obama offered his condolences to the Foley family on Tuesday, and sent a message to the Islamic State that "America does not forget."