A video released by the Abubakar Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram, Jama’atu Ahlussunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, claiming to have brought down the missing Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet Aircraft was superimposed, Hugo Kaaman, a Sweden based security analyst has exposed.
The jet had on Wednesday evening lost contact with radar in Borno state.
On Thursday, the Air Force said the jet might have crashed but the cause of the crash had yet to be ascertained. It also named the two pilots in the jet who were still missing.
However, on Friday, Boko Haram released a video showing what appeared to be the downing of an aircraft. The group also showed a militant standing on what it claims was the wreckage of the jet.
Boko Haram Claims Responsibility For Missing Nigerian Fighter Jet, Releases Video Of Dead Pilot | Sahara Reporters
The jet had on Wednesday evening lost contact with radar in Borno state. @NigAirForce
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“Nigeria Air Force jet fighter… was sent to Sambisa to fight the Mujahideen,” the militant said.
The insurgents were also seen moving towards the debris of the aircraft to remove components of the aircraft and personal effects of the pilots.
Commenting on the video, Kaaman in a tweet on Saturday said the supposed explosion of the Nigerian fighter jet was that of SyAAF helicopter exploding mid-air 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.
NAF spokesperson Edward Gabkwet had in a statement on Friday said the video was a mere propaganda.
The statement read, “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 underage 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.”
Saharareporters, New York