Tuesday, May 24, 2022

I was live-tweeting my analysis of the CNN report suggesting that Israel targeted Shireen Abu Akleh.

The targeting part is absurd. CNN based its analysis on "eyewitnesses" who are biased. It makes no sense that the IDF would target reporters under any circumstances, and certainly not during fighting - and there was fighting before Shireen was killed, although not immediately before.

But while much of CNN's analysis was biased and based on an "expert" who is known for his anti-Israel "research," the examination of the audio by a professor at Montana State University seems legit. He states that based on the time differential between the sound of the gun firing and the bullet hitting, he can calculate how far the gun was when it fired. CNN stated that the sound differential was 309 milliseconds, and stated which gunshots they believed killed Abu Akleh.

I examined the audio and found the gunshots CNN was referring to. But the other gunshots in that same video (the original one released that showed Abu Akleh on the ground) did not match the sound of the initial ones, so I thought perhaps those were the ones that hit her.

Here was my thread:

I found the gunshots that @CNN says were the ones that killed Shireen Abu Akleh on video, with the secondary sounds to identify the distance. It starts at :08 of this @DigFind video. There are 7 or 8 high pitched shots.

The secondary sound is indeed about 300 ms from the primary shot sound, and I'll trust the Montana State professor that says that indicates it is 190m away or so


According to CNN, these are the shots that killed her, based on witnesses that they are trusting to remember those kinds of details. But we don't know if she was killed before or shortly after.

This is important because y
ou can hear yourself that nowhere else in this video can you hear such high pitched shots. And the same witnesses swear that they were pinned down, not able to aid Shireen, because the IDF kept firing.
I can find no other shots that have the same audio signature in that video.
At about 0:15 you her three clear lower register shots, not from the same gun and without the same "echo."
And automatic fire at :26 or so.ImageImage
However, after writing that I then realized that some of the sounds of that video overlapped with audio from the other video released later that showed the reporters milling around and then reacting to gunfire. 

I lined up the audio of the two videos:

Based on looking at the audio patterns, it was clear that the initial shots in the "reporters mulling" video had the same audio signature (slightly shorter time lag) as the "200 m" shots in the other video. (Here's the graphic showing the consistent time gaps between the two bangs in the initial volley.)

Assuming that the IDF was around 200 meters away as other sources indicate, my amateur and tentative conclusions are:

1) The initial shots that the reporters heard were from the IDF. There was no firefight at that immediate time.
2) The same kind of gunshot killed Shireen. There were no other weapons heard until we see her on the ground.
3) The IDF did not pin down the reporters with gunfire after she died as the reporters claim; after the initial volley there was other gunfire, presumably from militants towards the IDF after hearing the IDF fire, and the reporters assumed that it must be Israel.

The idea that it was an IDF sniper, as CNN claims, makes no sense. A sniper that would be good enough to hit Abu Akleh's forehead right below her helmet would not be at the same time so bad as to hit a tree three times separated by two feet. Plus IDF sniper rifles have a different sized bullet.

There is no possible way that the IDF would target reporters. 

So the most reasonable explanation is the one the IDF floated, saying that there was another militant or group that was north of the IDF perhaps waiting in ambush. The IDF fired towards them and the gunshots reached/ricocheted to the reporters. 

I am definitely an amateur at this. One part I don't quite understand is that the IDF gunfire, while not automatic, is much faster than I thought usual for single shots. But at this point in time, I believe that a forensics analysis of  the bullet would show it was from an IDF gun. Which really sucks, because without bodycam footage or something showing another target, the liars will run with this as proof of "deliberate murder."

That is impossible. There is nothing to be gained by the IDF targeting journalists and lots to be lost. "Silencing" journalists makes no sense. The soldiers are a very visible target in the middle of an urban area, they are going to worry about who is targeting them, not about shooting Shireen Abu Akleh. Also, there was fighting in Jenin before this incident, so the troops were definitely concentrating on the enemy, not the reporters.

Since the incident, the IDF has been honest about the chances that it was responsible for Abu Akleh's tragic death. It is the only side that cares about the truth, no matter how the facts shake out. 

I hope that I can also always be on the side of the truth tellers.

UPDATE: Jon C. at Israellycool wrote up a better theory on how Abu Akleh could have been killed by Palestinians that fits with the audio analysis I was relying on. I summarize my thoughts concurring with it here

And since then I have amassed a large amount of evidence that this post, based on very incomplete information, is wrong. 

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