Child appears to shoot dead ‘alleged Israeli spy’ in new Isis video – Our forensic scientists review whether the footage is authentic?12 Mar 2015
Whilst we cannot be certain, without seeing the original footage in its native format, the shooting does appear to be authentic.
From a forensic firearms perspective you can see the recoil of the pistol, which appears to be a 9 mm Glock. The movement of the slide and barrel, and the ejection of the cartridge case appear to be correct for that type of weapon and all of the movements of the weapon are consistent with its calibre.
Questions have been raised as to why a muzzle flash cannot be seen. With it being daylight a muzzle flash can be difficult to see, however there does appear to be a smoke cloud produced, as one would expect. Furthermore as a result of the muzzle blast, the prisoner’s hair is blown back from the blast. In addition the entrance hole does appear to have blackening around it, which is what one would expect in these circumstances.
Questions have also been raised as the videos authenticity based on the lack of an exit wound in the victim’s head. With regard to an exit wound, it is not unusual for a bullet from a single head wound to remain within the skull, particularly with the calibre of firearm used.
Secondly, from a forensic video analysis perspective there are no obvious signs of post-production or manipulation and therefore nothing obvious to suggest that the event was staged however, without access to the original file in its native format and the ability to examine the meta data it is impossible to offer an authoritative opinion.
There is nothing which at present leads us to derive that it was not the boy who fired the shots however given that at no stage do you see the boy’s face in the same shot, at the exact moments at which the gun is fired, it is entirely possible that it might not have been him who actually fired the fatal shot.
It is also clear that the child has been trained in using the firearm. It is clear that he knows how to hold the gun and clearly uses a ‘trained’ stance from which to fire. It is certainly not the first time that he has fired a gun.