A video emerged this week of a failed 2016 suicide attack outside Mosul, Iraq. A video researcher digitally cleaned up the shaky footage to reveal how close the bomber came. Screenshot via YouTube.
A Swedish researcher released an unusually clear video on his Twitter account Monday, Sept. 27, that uses digital video tricks to tease out terrifying details in a 5-year-old video of a suicide truck bomber — or SVBIED — attacking a Kurdish Peshmerga convoy in Iraq.
But no digital alteration was needed to hear the cackling laughter and excitement of the photographer as the truck closed in outside Mosul in 2016.
The original footage was part of a 15-minute video posted to YouTube in 2016. Taken with what appears to be a hand-held camera or phone, the footage shakes and twists uncontrollably, making it almost impossible to track the approach of a bomb-laden suicide truck to a convoy. Hugo Kaaman, a Swedish researcher who studies the use of suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices by armed nonstate actors, told Coffee or Die Magazine he stabilized the video digitally for his website by running the footage through filters in iMovie. With the filters, the sides of the frame bounce wildly throughout the video, but the truck stays front and center in the unusually clear SVBIED video. Check it out.
An American embedded w/ a Peshmerga unit happily records as an SVBIED races toward them outside Mosul. The driver of the SVBIED loses control after an ATGM detonates right by him, causing him to swerve off the road and detonate. Most joyful SVBIED footage I've seen (Oct. '16) pic.twitter.com/XMKENhpdYl
— Hugo Kaaman (@HKaaman) September 27, 2021
According to Kaaman, who posted the video on Twitter, the video was taken by an American embedded with a Peshmerga unit. The American screams with excitement over the sound of nonstop gunfire, then catches sight of an SUV speeding down a nearby road and realizes it is an SVBIED.
“Suicide bomber!” he yells.
But the SVBIED never reaches its intended target. Instead, an anti-tank guided missile hits the ground behind the vehicle, making it swerve out of control. As it spins out, it explodes in a fireball that becomes a massive dust cloud.
The American never stops cheering and eventually signs off with a hearty, “Fuck you!”
Here's the full video https://t.co/Ce6v1SpuIX
— Hugo Kaaman (@HKaaman) September 27, 2021
“The video was filmed in the early stages of the battle of Mosul, when fighting was ongoing in the wide stretching plains surrounding the city itself,” Kaaman told Coffee or Die. Although he himself did not know the exact location, another person on Twitter identified it as south of Fadhiliya and Beshiqa during the offensive to encircle Beshiqa.
The identity of the photographer is unknown, but several Twitter users said he was well known to online video researchers as a medic and photographer named Jorge who was featured on the History Channel’s Hunting Isis program in 2018.
Maggie BenZvi is a contributing editor for Coffee or Die. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in human rights from Columbia University, and has worked for the ACLU as well as the International Rescue Committee. She has also completed a summer journalism program at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In addition to her work at Coffee or Die, she’s a stay-at-home mom and, notably, does not drink coffee. Got a tip? Get in touch!
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