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Video shared to depict Israel attacking Iran, misleading

Saheed Ibrahim

Claim: A pro-Biafra agitator, Simon Ekpa, shared a video on X to claim that Israel attacked Iran after the April 13 Iranian attack on Israel.

Verdict: Misleading! The video was fabricated. It was curated from different sources on the internet.

Full Text

The Israel-Iran war is described as a covert one that has been ongoing for many years, but the April 13 attack on Israel was the first one by Iran from its territory. On April 13, Iran launched several missiles and drones at Israel. It was reported that the action was in retaliation for Israel’s suspected attack on an Iranian site in Damascus, Syria, killing 13 people. Another report stated that seven people were killed. However, most of the missiles and drones launched by Iran were intercepted. There were fears the attack may lead to World War III.

However, on April 19, 2024, Simon Ekpa, a self-declared prime minister of the Biafra Republic Government in Exile (BRGIE), on his X (formerly Twitter) account, @simon_ekpa, posted a video claiming that Israel had struck Iran.

His caption reads: “BREAKING: Israel hitting Iran, but the propaganda carriers will be posting how Iran intercepted it.”

The post has garnered 2,300 reposts, 95 quotes, 3,000 likes, 122 bookmarks, over 129,000 views, and 428 comments. Among the comments, there were expressions of support for Israel, such as “More draconic firepower to Israel” and “I stand with Israel for life.” 

However, other comments suggested that the video was old and the information was false, with statements like “This is an old and fake video!” and “This seems edited. How could people still be standing there? It’s not possible.”

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Due to the video’s virality and suspicion surrounding it, DUBAWA decided to conduct a fact check.

Verification

Keyframes from the video shared by Simon Ekpa were analysed using InVid, Google Reverse Image Search, and Yandex. We found that the 1-minute and 2-second video was curated from different sources. A part of the video was from a massive fire in Chile in 2022.

The video metadata showed that the visuals were created on April 19, but the audio was created in 1904 and modified to fit the misleading video on April 19.

DUBAWA found the originator of the video on TikTok, @myus.hamed5, a video editor and author of several misleading videos. He has 544.2k followers and 5 million likes. His TikTok page contains videos of explosions and disasters with misleading claims.

DUBAWA found that part of the video shared depicts Israel’s attack on Iran, and the audio was also used by @myus.hamed5 in other videos on his page, such as in the video where he claims Russia attacked the Ukraine City of Kharkiv on May 4.

Some of the misleading videos DUBAWA also found on his TikTok page claim that America and Russia were at war and a strong tornado recently stormed Saudi Arabia, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.

Using keywords on Google search, DUBAWA did not find any authenticated report or video to confirm the video shared by Simon Ekpa that Israel did strike Iran after the April 13 multiple missile launch from Iran to Israel.

DUBAWA found an April 20 BBC report showing that Israel did not confirm any attack on Iran, but US officials claimed that the country hit Iran with a missile. The BBC report further revealed that “Some Iranian officials and media have confirmed there was an attempted strike but are downplaying the significance of it. There have been no reports of casualties.” 

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Conclusion

The video shared by Simon Ekpa to depict Israel’s attack on Iran is misleading. The footage was fabricated using snippets from different sources. 

This report is produced for the DUBAWA 2024 Kwame Karikari Fact-Checking Fellowship in partnership with The Hope Newspaper to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in Nigeria. 

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