Thomas Wictor

Why would the Islamic State fake the video?

Why would the Islamic State fake the video?

Last night I received an e-mail about my post “The Jordanian Pilot was not Burned Alive,” which I wrote in reference to the Islamic State video Healing the Believers’ Chests. The film is a hoax; I have no doubt. But that doesn’t mean that you have to believe me. Here’s the e-mail I received.

Hello Thomas,

I hope that you are doing well.

I read your analysis of the Jordanian pilot’s burning. I honestly didn’t think of that. I have to say, it is very convincing.

Now, I have one question: knowing Islamists, I can tell you that they always go for the most simple way of doing things. Why would they make something so complicated as staging this burning alive, when it is so simple, for them, to just kill the pilot in front of the camera ? It would not be the first time they do something so horrific, film it, and spread the footage on the net. Using special effects is complicated and time consuming, and they are so full of hatred, vicious and sadistic, that they would have had much more fun doing it for real.

Sorry to play the devil’s advocate, but before a few months, you are gonna be exposed through my film. Right now, the entire world takes this burning alive as a fact. It could become a problem if people attack your credibility by naming you a conspiracy theorist.

What I am saying is that, even though I trust your conclusions, and I believe that you know much better than me, I would not want others to attack you on this matter. One the top of that, IS wanted to instil fear in the west, but, instead, they instilled hatred. Jordan is bombing them 24/7, the US are ready to send more planes and more weapons, maybe ground troops… Let them hate and fight IS till it is erased from the map, from humanity, and even from history.

Just a thought, as a partner and a friend.

Maybe I am right, maybe I am wrong.

Best regards,

Pierre Rehov

Mr. Rehov is perfectly justified in asking me to clarify. We’re business partners, so he wants to make sure I don’t screw the pooch in terms of the two films he’s going to release soon.

The answer to why the Islamic State went through all this trouble is simple: This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and there was too much at stake to leave anything to chance. The US and other nations have been fighting Islamic terrorists since December of 2001. How many fighter pilots have been captured? Since 2001 Islamic terrorists have said that real men don’t bomb from the sky. They fight on the ground, face to face. Only cowards drop bombs from the “safety” of the air.

One reason Islamic terrorists say this is that they know that they’ll never have a modern air force with pilots who can do this.

They’ll never have helicopter gunships like the horrendously lethal MH-60L Direct Action Penetrator (DAP).

The terrorists’ most feared aircraft is the American AC-130, a sixty-one-year-old, four-engined turboprop transport armed with a large field cannon, a smaller anti-aircraft cannon taken from a ship, and a Gatling cannon, all mounted on the side of the aircraft.

Each weapon is computer-controlled, making the rounds they fire precision-guided munitions. Nose art on individual AC-130s tends to be macabre.

AC-130H_nose _art

The unofficial motto of the AC-130 squadrons is “You can run, but you’ll only die tired.” Those four turboprop engines produce a characteristic drone that often convinces the enemy to leave without a fight.

Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot Lieutenant Moath Youssef al-Kasasbeh is the first Coalition pilot who the terrorists captured alive.


His capture itself was a propaganda coup, but his death would be a spectacular recruiting tool—if it were done correctly. Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh was accused of betraying Islam by fighting with “crusaders and Jews.” That required a special punishment.

Executions in Islam are part of the judicial process for capital crimes. Today, beheadings are most common capital punishment, but there are other forms of execution in Islam. In general, burning someone alive is reserved for a Muslim who betrayed Islam[.]


Several Muslims have contacted me saying that in the hadiths, Mohammed once commanded his men to burn two enemies alive, but then he rescinded the order because punishment by fire was reserved only for Allah. However, I’ve found another of Mohammed’s orders that was not rescinded.

The Prophet said, “No prayer is harder for the hypocrites than the Fajr and the ‘Isha’ prayers and if they knew the reward for these prayers at their respective times, they would certainly present themselves (in the mosques) even if they had to crawl.” The Prophet added, “Certainly I decided to order the Mu’adh-dhin [call-maker] to pronounce Iqama [second call to prayer] and order a man to lead the prayer and then take a fire flame to burn all those who had not left their houses so far for the prayer, along with their houses.”

Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 1, Volume 11, Hadith 626

Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh was considered a munafiq, a hypocrite who only pretended to be a true believer. The hadith quoted above calls for the burning of hypocrites.

The terrorists had a Muslim pilot. They could make a statement about their own fearsomeness, the vulnerability of the aircraft they hate, and the danger of “betraying Islam.” It could be the greatest recruiting tool of all time—as long as the pilot were controlled. A military man, Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh would almost certainly fight if he were told he was going to be burned alive. What would he gain by cooperating?

His life. I believe he cooperated and mimed being burned to death because he was told that he would be spared and kept prisoner. Someone else suggested that he cooperated in exchange for a more merciful death by gunshot. I don’t think that would guarantee his cooperation.

Italian security contractor Fabrizio Quattrocchi was kidnapped in Iraq by al Qaeda. When they took him out on April 14, 2004, to murder him for a propaganda film, he fought, he tried to tear off his hood, and he shouted, “I’ll show you how an Italian dies!” before being shot.


The video of the murder was useless for propaganda purposes.

More recently, a defector from the Islamic State explained why he left the group.

He said he found the courage to attempt an escape after seeing a Kurdish fighter beheaded.

“I decided to risk my life to escape after I witnessed a wounded, captured Kurdish YPG fighter publicly beheaded. He was about my age, but unlike me he was extremely brave,” said Omer.

“He spat on every jihadist around him. He shouted slogans about Kurdish freedom and Abdullah Ocalan. I had never seen anyone so brave in my life. His fingers were cut yet he shouted insults against the jihadists. He was finally beheaded from behind to suffer, and salt was put on his half-cut neck to make him die in agony, but he did not give up until he painfully died,” he said.

Imagine if Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh had fought every attempt to put him in the cage. What if he’d spat and shouted insults? This couldn’t be risked, given that the Islamic State is not likely going to get another pilot anytime soon. Islamic State fighters are sadistic barbarians, but their leaders have rational, long-term plans. That’s why they staged the burning. It was the only way they could be assured that Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh would cooperate.

They wanted him to look penitent as he burned, holding his head in his hands, and they wanted him to sink to his knees in defeat, begging Allah for forgiveness. If they’d drugged him, he wouldn’t have been able to follow the director’s instructions. He had to be motivated, which means they promised him that he would live. Also, if he’d actually been burned alive, he may have toppled the cage in his involuntary death throes. Since they were going to use CGI flames, they needed to have the cage perfectly stationary.

The cage is made of aluminum tubes, angle iron, and sheet. It’s so light that it didn’t settle into the sand (red arrows), and the frame at the bottom is paper thin (green arrow).


When the terrorists dump rubble on the flimsy cage, it totally collapses, and you can see an unpainted roof bar (red arrow). It’s silver, meaning it’s aluminum, and it isn’t blackened by smoke, more proof that the flames are CGI.


If Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh had actually been set on fire, he could’ve easily knocked over the cage and ruined the movie.

People have told me that the horrifying murder of Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh has galvanized the world. I see no evidence of that. The overwhelming majority of the Combined Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve is for training or “exploration,” meaning no fighting. The task-force partners involved in military activity have sent seven jets, six jets, five jets, and two jets. Where are China, India, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, and Colombia?

As an American radio announcer in California said the other day, “Burning people alive? What the hell are we doing over there? We need to bring everyone home and let these savages fight it out themselves.”

I decided to post about the fraudulence of Healing the Believers’ Chests because its value as a recruiting tool for terrorists far outweighs its ability to spur nations into taking effective military action. The world will not unite to avenge one man. Also, I wanted the family and friends of Lieutenant Moath Youssef al-Kasasbeh to know that he didn’t suffer the fate that the Islamic State depicted.

There are plenty of people who think Healing the Believers’ Chests was faked as part of a conspiracy to draw the world into war with Islam. The Jews are behind it. Or the military-industrial complex. Or the iIlluminati. Or shape-changing reptilians. I don’t believe in ANY conspiracy theories. All of them can be proven false by the Snowden Test.

But you don’t have to take my word that Healing the Believers’ Chests is a hoax. Use your own eyes. Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh still had a full head of hair after he’d been engulfed in flames. In addition, the combustible fluid on his shirt didn’t burn.


The smoke stopped at the bar marked by the red arrow, avoided the close-together bars on the left, and then reappeared outside the cage.


The flames never went past this bar marked by a red arrow.


The bars on the top of the cage moved upward like stairs on an escalator, in sync with the rising tower of flames and smoke.


And right before he collapsed, Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh had no injury to the skin of his arms, hands, and face, and his hair was not burned.


Most people believe that this video is real. Therefore all the careful staging by the Islamic State paid off. If Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh had fought for his life, this golden opportunity for the terrorists would’ve been wasted. It was worth all the time and money put into making the film.

And Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh did the right thing. Anyone who’s been captured by the Islamic State is free to say and do anything, as far as I’m concerned. Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh’s cooperation doesn’t diminish him at all in my eyes. He was a courageous professional airman who volunteered to fight the most barbaric enemy of modern times.

I believe that by exposing the fraudulence of his death, I honor him. His killers weren’t ruthless warriors but cheap propagandists. They lied to him, and they they lied to their followers.

Lieutenant Moath Youssef al-Kasasbeh was worth ten thousand of them.

Lt_Moath Youssef al-Kasasbeh

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