A Viral Video Claimed Militants Were Being Trained For Kashmir; Here's What We Found | BOOM
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A Viral Video Claimed Militants Were Being Trained For Kashmir; Here’s What We Found

A Viral Video Claimed Militants Were Being Trained For Kashmir; Here’s What We Found

BOOM found that the video was shot at the Police Training College in Hangu, KP, Pakistan.

A selfie video showing young men armed with weapons and bullet proof vests assembled in what appears to be a campus, has gone viral on Twitter in India on Monday.

BOOM was able to trace the video to the Police Training College Hangu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, using open source data.

The 28-second video has the words ‘Mujahideen’ and ‘Mujahideen Kashmir’ written on it. It has also been overlaid with the song ‘Ay Watan Tera Ishara Aa Gaya.’

A voice speaking in Pashto can be heard at the beginning saying, “these are all Mujahideens, and they are ready to go to Kashmir for jihad.”

Toward the end of the clip the man shooting the video and carrying a rifle and wearing a black vest can be seen.

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The video has angered Twitter users in India.

Click here to view an archived version of the tweet.

It was also tweeted by Bharatiya Janata Party member
Major Surendra Poonia.

Click here to view an archived version of the tweet.

FACT-CHECK

BOOM decided to trace the video using open source data.

As visible in the clip and pointed out in the replies, a policemen was visible in the first few frames of the video.

In addition, one can spot a metal trunk and other luggage, which led us to believe that the video was probably shot on the campus of a police or armed forces training institute in Pakistan.

Geo-locating The Building

Several frames of a red and beige brick building are visible when the camera pans in the video.

A large number of men in the video can also be seen wearing Pathani suits or Pathani Kurtas.

Therefore, we decided to restrict our search to police training institutes in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region.

We zeroed in on the Police Training College (PTC) Hangu at
Kohat Road, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

A photograph of the main building is visible on the dashboard of the institute’s website. The video appears to be taken at the back of one of the buildings which is adjacent to a ground.

BOOM also found a Facebook page – PTC Hangu. The page though is not verified.

PTC Hangu Facebook page

We then used whopostedwhat.com – a free Facebook graph search and in the Location field entered ‘PTC Hangu’ showing us posts from people on Facebook who mentioned the institute.

Among the search results was a profile of one Nasrullah Khan – the man who recorded the original video.

The Man Who Shot The Video

Nasrullah Khan posted the video on September 1, 2019. The clip is the same as the video that has gone viral including the audio and text that has been overlaid on it.

The image of weapon is a stock image photo that has been described as an AK 47 online.

Khan’s Facebook profile says he works with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police.

His current Facebook profile picture shows him wearing a uniform of the institute.

BOOM did a side by side comparison where he can be seen in the video with his Facebook profile photo.

It is not clear whether Nasrullah Khan posted the video out of hubris or as a joke as multiple comments on the video suggest the police trainees were being deployed for Muharram duty. Muharram will be observed on September 10, 2019.

UPDATE

On September 4, 2019, the Facebook page PTC Hangu replied to BOOM’s query about the video and confirmed it was shot at the college. The page also said that the men in the video were not terrorists and that they were being deployed for Muharram duty.

“Yes this is PTC Hangu but its not terrorist, all solider going to Muharram Ul Haram Special Duty.” – PTC Hangu

Additional reporting by Swasti Chatterjee

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Karen Rebelo works as an investigative reporter, fact-checker and a copy-editor at BOOM. Her specialization includes spotting and debunking fake images and viral fake videos. Karen is a former Reuters wires journalist and has covered the resources sector in the UK and the Indian stock market and private equity sector. She cut her teeth as a prime-time television producer doing business news shows.

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