A Sweden-based analyst, Hugo Kaaman, has put a lie to the claim by Boko Haram terror group it gunned down a Nigeria Air Force Alpha jet, which disappeared from the radar on Wednesday.
The Swedish said a viral video used by the terrorists to buttress their claim that they shot down the NAF jet was doctored.
Kaaman, “an independent open-source researcher, with a heavy focus on the use of Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices by armed non-state actors”, said the video was from a 2012 incident involving a Syrian Air Force helicopter.
NAF, about three days ago, had announced that of one its jets on a reconnaissance mission in support of the troops on the ground fighting against insurgents had gone missing.
For hours NAF couldn’t say with certainty what happened to the jet and its occupants.
The NAF spokesman, Edward Gabkwet, however, in a statement yesterday, said “Intelligence report gathered by the Nigerian Air Force indicates that the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar with two crew members on board on March 31, 2021, might have crashed. The cause of the crash as well as the whereabouts of the two pilots remain unknown.”
He added that “The pilots are Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele. Extensive search and rescue efforts are still ongoing by NAF surveillance aircraft as well as NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops on ground. At this point, the NAF is not ruling out anything regarding the incident. It however remains hopeful that the crew would soon be found and rescued.”
But hours after the announcement, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for downing the aircraft in the viral video.
The Abubakar Shekau-led faction of the Boko Haram sect released the footage of a crashed jet with one of its fighters standing on the wreckage. A body was also seen in the wreckage of the aircraft.
The Air Force, however, dismissed claims by the terror group that it gunned down the missing Alpha jet.
Commenting on the footage released by Boko Haram, Kaaman tweeted today, “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 (Boko Haram) took a 2012 video showing a SyAAF (Syrian Air Force) 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 shoot down itself.”