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Caught in the act as Boko Haram is accused of peddling falsehoods, propaganda

The Boko Haram terrorist group has been caught in the act for video shopping the downing of a Syrian Air Force aircraft claiming that it was the video of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha-Jet fighter aircraft that went missing on Wednesday evening.

NAF Spokesperson, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet had on Friday morning dismissed the terrorist group’s claims as propaganda video that was doctored on falsehoods.

On Saturday,  Hugo Kaaman, a Sweden-based security analyst, collaborated  the NAF position, accusing Boko Haram terrorists of taking a clip from a 2012 incident in Syria to claim responsibility for the NAF missing jet.

Kaaman said the explosion was that of an incident involving SyAAF helicopter in 2012.

“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 said while comparing both videos.”

Edward Gabkwet, spokesman of the air force, had earlier said Boko Haram fighters were not capable of bringing down the jet.

Said Gabkwet, “although the video is still being thoroughly analysed, it is evident that most parts of the video were deliberately doctored to give the false impression that the aircraft was shot down.”“It is obvious that the Boko Haram sect, in its characteristic manner of employing false propaganda, is seeking to claim credit for what was obviously an air accident that could have been caused by several other reasons; particularly at a time when the capability of the group to inflict mayhem has been significantly degraded by the Armed Forces of Nigeria,” he had said in a statement.Experts had earlier told Daily Trust that given the distance the air craft flew and where Boko Haram operated from, it is highly possible that the insurgents only took advantage of the mishap involving NAF.

“Bringing down an aircraft such as the one we saw will require serious precision and a ballistic missile; it was not a helicopter. But the fact that it went in flames mid-air showed that something happiened,” Abubakar Ismail, a security expert, who reviewed the video, said.

According to Air Commodore Gabkwet, The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to some videos being circulated on Social Media, as well as media reports drawn therefrom, alleging that the NAF Alpha Jet aircraft, which was reported missing in Borno State on 31 March 2021 after losing radar contact, was shot down by terrorists.

“One of such videos, in particular, began with sporadic shooting by several terrorists, including under-aged 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. Another part of the video showed a terrorist, who, while standing by the wreckage, claimed that they had shot down the NAF aircraft.

“Although the video is still being thoroughly analysed, it is evident that most parts of the video were deliberately doctored to give the false impression that the aircraft was shot down. For instance, 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.

“It is obvious that the Boko Haram Sect, in its characteristic manner of employing false propaganda, is seeking to claim credit for what was obviously an air accident that could have been caused by several other reasons; particularly at a time when the capability of the group to inflict mayhem has been significantly degraded by the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

“Consequently, Nigerians are please advised to ignore the contents of the videos making the rounds until all investigations as to how the aircraft crashed are completed. The NAF, on its part, remains resolute and will continue to work assiduously, in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, to rid the North East of all terrorist elements.”

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