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American admits to hoax execution video

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American admits to hoax execution video

Old 08-07-04, 01:04 PM
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American admits to hoax execution video

American admits to hoax execution video
Sat 7 August, 2004 17:13

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackage...7&section=news

By Adam Tanner and Barbara Grady

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A tech-savvy young San Francisco man who staged his own mock beheading on the Internet duped international media today into believing Islamist kidnappers had executed an American hostage in Iraq.

The video, which appeared on a Web site used by Islamic militants, showed a man who identified himself as Benjamin Vanderford appealing to the United States to leave Iraq. The Web format was that used by al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and was introduced by a headline that said it showed Zarqawi killing an American.

"If we don't (leave Iraq), everyone is gonna be killed in this way ... I have been offered for exchange for prisoners here in Iraq," the terrified-looking man said, rocking back and forth in his chair, his hands tied behind his back.

The video showed a hand with a large knife apparently slicing through the neck of a limp body.

But it was all a hoax.

The blood was dye, the setting was a friend's garage, the Koran reading was a tape and the knife was held by a friend. Mutilated bodies and sound effects were edited in from photos on Web sites and the video was purposefully blurred to make it seem even more amateur, Vanderford said.

A major motivation for his action, an unrepentant Vanderford told Reuters, was to see how the world media would react and to see if they would be fooled. "It really illustrates the potential that this kind of thing would happen," he said.

Vanderford, 22, said he worked at branch of Wells Fargo bank. A college drop-out, he was a candidate for the local city council earlier this year but had since dropped out of the race. His Web site also says he is a video game programmer and works with a local record label.

INTERNET EXPERIMENT

He said the video parody of actual beheadings of hostages in Iraq posted on Islamist Web sites was made and posted on the Web about three months ago, intended as an experiment into how quickly videos spread on the Internet. He was surprised at how long it took.

"It is unfortunate that it had to be the type of video that was offensive and shocking, but it was necessary to see how quickly this kind of thing would spread," he said.

Local police and FBI officials arrived at his door early on Saturday, but had no immediate comment as to whether he would face criminal charges. A police official said it was a matter for the city's special investigations unit.

Vanderford said he distributed the staged video on Kazaa and other Internet peer-to-peer networks which are popular swapping forums for films, music and software. He said if his staged death appeared on any terror-related Web sites it was the work of others who found the video on the peer-to-peer networks.

Scores of hostages from two dozen countries have been seized in the last four months. Most have been freed but at least 10 have been killed, and at least 20 are still being held in Iraq.

Vanderford expressed the hope that his stunt would not affect his bank job.
Old 08-07-04, 01:08 PM
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What a f-ing a-hole! I hope he gets fired then run out of town.
Old 08-07-04, 01:46 PM
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I wonder if this is indeed illegal and if so what are the charges?
Old 08-07-04, 01:56 PM
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It would have been pretty funny if his friend accidently cut his head off.
Old 08-07-04, 02:09 PM
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i wouldn't think he did anything particularly illegal.....stupid yes, illegal no....
Old 08-07-04, 05:20 PM
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I don't see anything wrong with this. I predict the video looks like total crap.
Old 08-07-04, 05:52 PM
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Send him to Iraq with a sign on him that says: "I hate Muslims and all Muslims should die."

"It is unfortunate that it had to be the type of video that was offensive and shocking, but it was necessary to see how quickly this kind of thing would spread," he said.

So, in other words, this idiot did this as an experiment. Ok. I say we chop off his head for real, and compare the sounds a human makes with the sounds he taped.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 08-07-04 at 05:54 PM.
Old 08-07-04, 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by DVD Polizei
Send him to Iraq with a sign on him that says: "I hate Muslims and all Muslims should die."
Why? so you two could have something in common?
Old 08-07-04, 05:55 PM
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Hah.
Old 08-07-04, 06:19 PM
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Meh, I'm sure a lot of things I see on the internet...aren't real.
Old 08-07-04, 06:31 PM
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Re: American admits to hoax execution video

Originally posted by brizz
Local police and FBI officials arrived at his door early on Saturday, but had no immediate comment as to whether he would face criminal charges.
...for what?
Old 08-07-04, 06:40 PM
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I can just picture that.

The FBI shows up at his door, knocking....then walks away and get back into their cars and drive off, giving him the finger and sticking out their tongues.

I can't think of any crime at the moment, but he *could* be easily prosecuted if anyone is harmed by this video. For example, some guy, after viewing the fake video, kills a Muslim. For sure, the man who created the video which lead to a crime, even though he may not have foreseen it, can be prosecuted. He better hope to God nothing like this happens.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 08-07-04 at 06:42 PM.
Old 08-07-04, 06:44 PM
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*sigh*
Old 08-07-04, 08:52 PM
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The thing that strikes me the worst is that an already over burdened FBI had to expend resources to check this out.
I'd rather they be left to focus on protecting us from something other than this idiot.
Old 08-07-04, 09:00 PM
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Well, I think you bring up a good point, which is, this idiot should be sued in civil court for wasting the FBI's time.
Old 08-07-04, 11:21 PM
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Geraldo a short while ago: "Whether or not he is charged or sued in civil court, he deserves an ass kicking"
Old 08-08-04, 12:21 AM
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Originally posted by mikehunt
Geraldo a short while ago: "Whether or not he is charged or sued in civil court, he deserves an ass kicking"
So if he now gets that ass kicking could he sue Geraldo in civil court?
Old 08-08-04, 12:40 AM
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So the guy made a fake execution video, and then put it on kazaa?

There's no crime there. If he sent it to the FBI or CNN or something and tried to pass it off as legit, then YES...
Old 08-08-04, 03:04 AM
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Originally posted by DVD Polizei
I say we chop off his head for real, and compare the sounds a human makes with the sounds he taped.
Yeah, and then we should disembowel these guys. They pretended to get killed on video too!!!

Some of you people need help.
Old 08-08-04, 03:13 AM
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I say we chop off his head for real, and compare the sounds a human makes with the sounds he taped.
No free donuts for you.
Old 08-08-04, 03:17 AM
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I'm pretty sure he has already been hired by Lucasfilm to work on Episode III: Revenge of the sith.
Old 08-08-04, 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by nazz
The thing that strikes me the worst is that an already over burdened FBI had to expend resources to check this out.
I'd rather they be left to focus on protecting us from something other than this idiot.
The FBI wastes a lot of time with useless stuff, instead of trying to catch real criminals. It's unfortunate

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