Al-Qaeda Videotapes Digitally Doctored

by Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Thursday, August 2, 2007

from PrisonPlanet Website


IntelCenter and As-Sahab logos added at same time, indicating Pentagon linked "middleman" is directly releasing Al-Qaeda videos




An expert computer analyst has presented evidence that so-called "Al-Qaeda" tapes are routinely digitally doctored and has also unwittingly exposed an astounding detail that clearly indicates a Pentagon affiliated organization in the U.S. is directly responsible for releasing the videos.

"Neal Krawetz, a researcher and computer security consultant, gave an interesting presentation today at the BlackHat security conference in Las Vegas about analyzing digital photographs and video images for alterations and enhancements," reports Wired News.

"Using a program he wrote (and provided on the conference CD-ROM) Krawetz could print out the quantization tables in a JPEG file (that indicate how the image was compressed) and determine the last tool that created the image -- that is, the make and model of the camera if the image is original or the version of Photoshop that was used to alter and re-save the image. "

Krawetz's most telling discovery comes in the form of a detail contained in a 2006 Ayman al-Zawahiri tape. From his analysis he concludes that the As-Sahab logo (the alleged media arm of Al-Qaeda) and the IntelCenter logo below (a U.S. based private intelligence organization that "monitors terrorist activity") were both added to the video at the same time.


This clearly indicates IntelCenter itself is directly creating or at least doctoring the Al-Qaeda tapes before their release. After all, why would Al-Qaeda terrorists be interested in branding their videos with the logo of a U.S. based organization that is run by individuals with close ties to the military-industrial complex?

In our previous groundbreaking investigation (see following below article), we exposed IntelCenter, the middleman between "Al-Qaeda's media arm" and the press, and the organization that routinely obtains the tapes, as little more than a Pentagon front group staffed by individuals with close connections to Donald Rumsfeld and the U.S. war machine.

IntelCenter were also behind the release of the recent "new" Bin Laden tape, which in actual fact was old footage filmed in 2001 and had been released, including by IntelCenter itself, on no less than two previous occasions spanning back five years.

IntelCenter is run by Ben Venzke, former director of intelligence at a company called IDEFENSE, which is a Verisign company. IDEFENSE is a web security company that monitors intelligence from middle east conflicts and focuses on cyber threats among other things.

It is also heavily populated with long serving ex-military intelligence officials.

The Director of Threat intelligence, Jim Melnick, served 16 years in the US army and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and worked in psychological operations.


From the IDEFENSE website:

Prior to joining iDefense, Mr. Melnick served with distinction for more than 16 years in the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency. During this period, Mr. Melnick served in a variety of roles, including psychological operations, international warning issues with emphasis on foreign affairs and information operations and Russian affairs.


He also served in active political/military intelligence roles with an emphasis on foreign affairs. Mr. Melnick is currently a U.S. Army Reserve Colonel with Military Intelligence, assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.


Mr. Melnick has been published in numerous military and foreign affairs journals, and has received numerous military and DIA awards. Mr. Melnick has a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, a Master of Arts in Russian studies from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Political Science from Westminster College.

So here we have a company that by its own admission has ties to a senior military psy-op intelligence officer who has worked directly for Donald Rumsfeld.


As IntelCenter and Ben Venzke are directly connected to IDEFENSE, this puts Rumsfeld just three steps away from the Al Qaeda propaganda videos.



The business of releasing Al-Qaeda tapes is also very profitable for IntelCenter, they charge well over $4,000 dollars a year for packages aimed at "Intelligence, Military and Federal agencies".

Add to this the fact that IntelCenter are digitally doctoring the videos and then adding the logo of a purported terrorist group before their release and the ramifications become clear - elements within the U.S. are patently editing if not directly creating "Al-Qaeda" tapes for their own purposes.

Al-Qaeda, or more accurately IntelCenter, always seem to make a point of releasing the videos at the most politically expedient times for the benefit of the Bush administration.

Whether it's to justify a war, win an election or divert from a scandal, Bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri or their stooges can always be relied upon to come up with the goods and save Bush's bacon.

As soon as the 6 month wait and see period for the "surge" was up and right when Bush's last remaining Republican cheerleaders deserted him on Iraq, Bin Laden popped up to remind us all of the necessity of "staying the course" and winning the war on terror by feeding more troops into the meatgrinder.

Both Kerry and Bush attributed the President's 2004 re-election to Osama Bin Laden's appearance in a video tape just days before the vote. Veteran newsman Walter Cronkite mused that the whole farce was a Karl Rove orchestrated set-up.

On the eve of the Iraq war during Colin Powell's infamous presentation to the UN, an audio tape in which bin Laden claimed he was allied with Saddam Hussein surfaced, a gift-wrapped present for the Neo-Cons who had consistently been proven wrong in their assertion that there was a connection between Iraq and 9/11.

Ayman Al-Zawahiri appeared right on cue at the exact same time two years running, days before the State of the Union, to slam Bush as a "butcher" and a "failure." His timing is impeccable! Right when Bush needs to reinforce the fear of the shadowy enemy each January to mute his critics before the big speech, al-Zawahiri pops up with the goods.

Krawetz's analysis (view in PDF) further concludes that different objects and green screen backgrounds have been artificially added to certain videos, including that of probable Mossad double agent Adam Pearlman, in order to "lend authority and reverence to the video".

The smoking gun remains the fact that the two logos, the As-Sahab "terrorist" media arm and the IntelCenter organization, were added at exactly the same time, meaning either that IntelCenter, with its close ties to the U.S. government and psychological operation, has terrorists on the payroll or that IntelCenter itself is doctoring and directly releasing Al-Qaeda propaganda tapes.

Both conclusions are equally disturbing and demand an immediate FBI investigation of IntelCenter and its owners.









U.S. Government Caught Red-Handed Releasing Staged Al-Qaeda Videos

by Paul Joseph Watson

Prison Planet

October 5 2006

from PrisonPlanet Website

Immediate Congressional investigation demanded, media oversight of clear and deliberate psychological warfare against American population non-existent


Revelations that the US government had been in possession of footage released on Sunday depicting alleged Al-Qaeda hijackers and Osama Bin Laden since 2001 and evidence that the footage itself was filmed by security agencies, went unquestioned by the media - who blindly towed the official line that the tape was released by Al-Qaeda.


This is smoking gun proof that the U.S. government is staging the release of alleged Al-Qaeda tapes and it demands an immediate Congressional investigation.



Segments of the video that were interspersed with footage of the "laughing hijackers," Jarrah and Atta, showing Bin Laden giving a speech to an audience in Afghanistan on January 8 2000, were culled from what terror experts describe as surveillance footage taken by a "security agency."

This explains the lack of a soundtrack in the video and the fact that the tape does not focus solely on Bin Laden but pans around and shows the attendees in the audience.

Furthermore, film of the Bin Laden speech, reported by the dominant media as new footage, was previously broadcast in the UK docudrama The Road to Guantanamo, which was first seen on British television nearly seven months ago in March.

News reports over the weekend contained the admission that the U.S. government had been in possession of the footage since 2002, while others said it was found when the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001, and yet it was still bizarrely reported that the tape, bearing all the hallmarks of having been filmed and edited by undercover US intelligence and having admittedly been in US possession for five years, was released over the weekend by Al-Qaeda.

Either Al-Qaeda has been given access to US intelligence surveillance tapes of its own organization or the tape was released by the US intelligence apparatus. The evidence provides no other explanation.

The fact that the same footage was used in The Road to Guantanamo is startling because the context of the clip in which it is seen portrays British and American intelligence agents showing doctored footage to detainees, whereby their likeness has been edited in with CGI to the Bin laden rally scene, using it to intimidate them into confessing to being Al-Qaeda members.

The latest video tape hoax is only the most recent of a dirty laundry list of past examples where old, re-hashed, or outright faked footage of Bin Laden and his followers was mysteriously obtained and released at the most politically expedient time. These examples are all referenced in our original investigation.

Recall that the Pentagon's stated intention to artificially magnify Musab Al-Zarqawi's role in Iraq was followed by the release of a video tape of Al-Zarqawi threatening the infidels.

The target of this leaked propaganda campaign to boost Al-Qaeda's profile was said to be the "U.S. home audience," and included planting fake stories in newspapers - one of which was later splashed on the front page of the New York Times.

The agenda dovetails with the necessity of the torture program - there are very few real terror cells in existence outside of the puppet mastery of the U.S. and British intelligence apparatus. To maintain a state of fear and obedience amongst the target "home audience," there need to be regular "two minutes of hate" intervals and the artificial creation of supposed terrorist networks and plots.

The tapes are also a desperate attempt to prop up the official version of 9/11 as its credibility crumbles globally and a firestorm of awakening to the fact that the attack was an inside job rages.

I encourage everyone to fully imbue themselves of our original investigation and make it a viral story across the Internet. Click here to get the original story and lobby for mainstream media to pay attention.

We need to demand higher standards from our media starting with a proper investigation as to who the true source of this tape was and an immediate skepticism towards all such future alleged "Al-Qaeda" video tape releases.

A press that lazily dismisses the origins of these tapes as a side-issue is playing a central role in disseminating unchecked war propaganda and violating every code of journalistic ethical conduct.

The U.S. government's role in obtaining and carefully stage-managing the dissemination of these tapes, many of them old footage re-released over and over again, is now without a doubt manifestly obvious and demands immediate Congressional investigation as part of a wider probe into the admitted fake news scandal that has characterized the Bush White House as the most duplicitous and manipulative administration in history and befits a regime that is engaging in psychological warfare against the American people.







Researcher's Analysis of al Qaeda Images Reveals Surprises
by Kim Zetter

August 02, 2007

from WiredBlogNetwork Website

Neal Krawetz, a researcher and computer security consultant, gave an interesting presentation today at the BlackHat security conference in Las Vegas about analyzing digital photographs and video images for alterations and enhancements.

Using a program he wrote (and provided on the conference CD-ROM) Krawetz could print out the quantization tables in a JPEG file (that indicate how the image was compressed) and determine the last tool that created the image - that is, the make and model of the camera if the image is original or the version of Photoshop that was used to alter and re-save the image.



Comparing that data to the metadata embedded in the image he could determine if the photo was original or had been re-saved or altered.


Then, using error level analysis of an image he could determine what were the last parts of an image that were added or modified.


 to enlarge, click above images



Error level analysis involves re-saving an image at a known error rate (90%, for example), then subtracting the re-saved image from the original image to see every pixel that changed and the degree to which it changed.


The modified versions will indicate a different error level than the original image.

You can see the difference in the two pictures (below) of a bookshelf. Krawetz added some books and a toy dinosaur to the original image -- both of which show up clearly in the second picture after he's completed the error level analysis.


But more interesting were the examples Krawetz gave of al Qaeda images. Krawetz took an image from a 2006 al Qaeda video of Ayman al-Zawahiri, a senior member of the terrorist organization. The image shows al-Zawahiri sitting in front of a desk and banner with writing on it. But after conducting his error analysis Krawetz was able to determine that al-Zawahiri's image was superimposed in front of the background -- and was most likely videotaped in front of a black sheet.

Krawetz was also able to determine that the writing on the banner behind al-Zawahiri's head was added to the image afterward. In the second picture above showing the results of the error level analysis, the light clusters on the image indicate areas of the image that were added or changed.


The subtitles and logos in the upper right and lower left corners (IntelCenter is an organization that monitors terrorist activity and As-Sahab is the video production branch of al Qaeda) were all added at the same time all have the same error level, while the banner writing was added at a different time has a different error level, likely around the same time that al-Zawahiri was added, Krawetz says. (See 2nd update below.)



Even more interesting is the analysis he conducted on another 2006 video image of Azzam al-Amriki showing him in a white room with a desk, computer and some books in the background.


Error level analysis shows that the books in the lower right-hand corner of the image have a different error level than the items in the rest of the image, suggesting they were added later.


In fact the books register the same error level as the subtitles and As-Sahab logo.



Further analysis also shows that the books have a different color range than the rest of the image, indicating that they came from an alternate source. Krawetz wasn't able to determine what the books were but says if they were religious books, they might have simply been added to lend authority and reverence to the video.


It's also possible, he says, that such details could be added to a picture to send a message in code to al Qaeda operatives.



  1. 1ST UPDATE: For those of you who asked for Krawetz's program, you can view the source code here.

    You can also view his BlackHat presentation here (PDF). For those of you who think the software is better used to catch media manipulations of photos and video, Krawetz did present examples of these in his talk.

    And to "Ann" who commented that she doubts al Qaeda would put subtitles on a video, As-Sahab, the logo in the lower left corner of the two al Qaeda videos is the production arm of al Qaeda. Yes, the organization has its own media production team.


  2. 2ND UPDATE: I quoted Krawetz as saying that the evidence indicates that the IntelCenter and As-Sahab logos were added to the al-Zawahiri video at the same time. Ben Venzke of IntelCenter says his organization didn't add the As-Sahab logo. He points out that just because the error levels are the same for two items in an image, that doesn't prove they were added at the same time, only that the compression was the same for both items when they were added.


  3. 3rd UPDATE: I was finally able to reach Neal Krawetz at the BlackHat conference to respond to the questions about the IntelCenter and As-Sahab logos (Krawetz doesn't have a cell phone on him so finding him at the conference took a while). He now says that the error levels on the IntelCenter and As-Sahab logos are different and that the IntelCenter logo was added after the As-Sahab logo.


    However, in a taped interview I conducted with him after his presentation, he said the logos were the same error levels and that this indicated they were added at the same time. Additionally, after I'd written the first blog entry about his presentation, I asked him to read it to make sure everything was correct. He did so while sitting next to me and said it was all correct.


    He apologizes now for the error and the confusion it caused.







Al Qaeda Videos May Be Doctored

by Maddy Sauer

August 13, 2007

fgrom ABCNewsBlogs Website

Media and terrorism experts alike have remarked on the increasing sophistication of al Qaeda propaganda videos that continue to be released by the group's media wing, as Sahab.

One computer expert, however, has conducted extensive image analysis on many of the videos and concluded that in many cases the tapes were likely doctored to give a false impression of the speaker's location.

Neal Krawetz, founder of Hacker Factor, a computer security and consulting firm, created a computer program which he uses to analyze screen frames from various al Qaeda videos, including those of al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al Zawahri and American al Qaeda commander Adam Gadahn. His software suggests that in many cases the sophisticated backgrounds were likely added after the video of the speaker was recorded.

By looking at the error levels of the different elements in the still frames, or JPEGs, he can tell which elements are older and which are newer. In other words, he can tell which areas of the video were modified more recently.

For example, in one video of Zawahri released in July of last year, he appears to be seated in a news studio complete with a backdrop of images of the World Trade Center attacks and hijacker Mohammed Atta.

News commentators at the time remarked on how Zawahri, who many assumed to be hiding in a cave, was able to record a video message from a high-tech newsroom.

Krawetz, however, says that background was very likely added after Zawahri filmed his message.

"That's the fakest one so far," said Krawetz.

Krawetz found six different layers on one JPEG from that video, implying the various background components were very likely added after Zawahri recorded his message.

Krawetz says an even more visible clue occurs as the video itself plays, when there is a subtle shifting of the camera. The image of Zawahri appears to move side-to-side as if the camera is shaking while the background remains still.

In another video of Zawahri released in August 2005, the same summer as the bombing attacks on the London subway system, Zawahri appears outside of a tent with his trusted Kalashnikov behind him. At the time, some in the media remarked at the brazen message delivered in broad daylight just a few weeks after the London attacks.

Krawetz, however, notes that while the sunlight moves against the backdrop, the light levels on Zawahri's face never change. Once again, this implies the background could have been added after the video monologue was recorded. While it may appear he is staring into the sun because of the reflection in his eyeglasses, Krawetz speculates he was actually seated in front of a spotlight.

On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary last year, Zawahri and American al Qaeda leader Adam Gadahn released a video in which Gadahn praised the hijackers and their mission. On the tape, Gadahn is seen seated in a white room with a computer and books behind him.

After analyzing the image, Krawetz determined the books were at different error levels and a different color spectrum than the rest of the room, implying they were added when the subtitles and as Sahab logo were added to the video.


Whether this was an attempt to send a message to followers, an attempt to hide something else in the background or served any purpose at all remains unclear.



What's Behind al Qaeda's Propaganda Tapes