Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Post 2 of The Nakba Day Killings: Who Didn't Fire the Shot That Killed Nadeem Nawarah?

Note: If you haven't done so yet I recommend reading the posts in this series starting with Post 1. You can find all the posts in reverse order below this one on the page. You can also find each post in the series in the archives at right. The first post provides the basic intro information on the Nakba Day killings of May 15, 2014. This includes a set of notated maps that gives a sense of where this happened and what you'd see around you if you actually were there on that day. It also shows you a way to view videos frame by frame. If you are drawn to be a blog detective this will be a valuable tool and much of the evidence I'll introduce in this series of posts will require frame by frame analysis - especially if you'd like to check my conclusions for yourself. 

I've added several clips in this post that appear in the RowVid viewer just by clicking the link. It couldn't be easier to view them. This viewer allows playback at several different speeds and allows you to single step frames. This is very helpful if you want to see what actually happened for yourself. The few simple controls are obvious. Just clicking anywhere in the frame starts and stops the action - or the space bar does the same thing.

Geeky stuff you can ignoreYou may notice the frames in the RowVid viewer are .04 seconds apart. That's because there are 25 frames per second in YouTube clips. RowVid allows you to step through each one of them and find it later by the exact time the frame appears in the clip if you need to. Note that I'll identify particular frames using this RowVid frame time which is stated to .01 second resolution. In your comments or email you can do the same to bring attention to something for the blog readers and me or just to me personally via email. So, for example, if saw something visible in frame 22.25. That would be the frame at 22.25 seconds into that clip. The playback start time can vary by a small amount each time you run the RowVid viewer - like where exactly the software thinks the first frame starts - so each time you load a clip the frame time could vary by  +/- 1/100 of a second from the last time you viewed it. I think once in hundreds of playbacks I've seen it off by 2/100 of a second. This is not a problem. Just line your viewer up with the frame closest to the one called out and you'll be fine. The rest of the frames in the clip will still be .04 seconds apart.

This post focuses on what happened in the 22 seconds of the CNN Smoking Gun video during which the first two shots recorded that day appear. You may like to follow along with the details of those 22 critical seconds. They reveal what the great majority of people who have been following news reports of the killings do not know about what happened that day. Just open this link in a new tab, drag the progress button to 1:52 mark and click the speed you want (1 means normal speed).
CNN Smoking Gun footage
I've been looking at this footage so long I think I'm going to name it, "Aren't you coming to bed, dear?" But it's been well worth the effort. I've found several items of interest in this footage that reveal some amazing things.

The first to consider is: 

1) At the moment of the shot at RowVid frame 113.85 (CNN time = 1m53s)- a smoke plume appears behind the person CNN describes as the shooter - not in front of the muzzle of his rifle.

When I first saw this I knew that the first shot had to come from a rifle closer to the camera and hidden behind that foliage, not from the shooter CNN identified. I find it amazing that CNN never checked this stuff as a matter of course before telling us what we're supposed to be looking at.

I used the brief appearance of the smoke plume in a single frame of the footage 
(at 113.85) both to identify the frame time of the first shot and to estimate the position of the rifle that I now knew had to be there, behind that foliage.

It looked to me that the only person who could possibly be holding that hidden rifle was the guy whose helmet was the only part of him I could see. There are two other guys in that zone of the image but after closer inspection, they are standing under the grape arbor over 6 meters further back (to the NE) from CNN Shooter. Neither of the two guys to the left of this guy are holding rifles. It's only one frame in the video but you can see the plume clearly if you click the < and > keys to jump between frames 113.81 and 113.85 in the viewer.

Note: Before going further, it's important to understand that the long telephoto lens on the CNN video camera has "foreshortened" the image to make it appear that the men on the veranda are pretty much standing or kneeling right next to each other. In fact, there's 13 meters (almost 43 feet) between the first step up in the wall near the left edge of this screen grab (with the first visible IDF guy standing behind it), and the gate seen behind the CNN Shooter's M16. To shoot at the area in front of the six bay building where Nadeem and Muhammad were shot at, they must point their rifles almost parallel to the wall - with only a 20 degree deflection from it according to the Google map satellite view. I'll draw a diagram of this as soon as I get a chance because many viewers are tricked by the telephoto lens.

If you watch carefully as you click around this key frame and a few to either side of it you may also notice that the objects visually around and in the smoke plume seem to jiggle a bit visually. What you are seeing is distortion from the hot air and smoke that were expelled from the M16 - much like the shimmering heat waves that come off a hot highway in the desert. 

This may seem like small thing, but it's possibly the most important evidence available to positively identify the real shooter. It's physically impossible for CNN Shooter's rifle to cause the smoke and image distortions that we see behind him in the 4 or 5 frames just after the shot- while his M16 is pointed in the opposite direction - out to his front. If the CNN Shooter had fired the shot - we'd see the flash or smoke out in front of his barrel in that frame. Even if for some reason the flash and smoke were hard to see because of the light background, there's still the unexplained absence of the distortions in the image of the vertical pipe, visually just to the right of his muzzle. I believe this absence of image distortion out in front of his muzzle, especially in any of the 2 or 3 frames right after the shot, proves beyond any doubt that CNN shooter's M16 was not discharged at the moment of that shot.  

Just in case more proof is needed . . 

2) But wait, there's more. At the moment of the shot - CNN Shooter's rifle is motionless - there is no recoil.

Should there be some kick when an M16 is fired? I've managed to find several video clips of M16's being fired with rubber bullets and other cartridge loads such as tear gas cylinders and standard NATO rounds. They all kick the rifle back into the soldier's shoulder, as anyone who has ever fired a military rifle would expect. 

The M16 rubber cylinder kick seems to average about 3 cm (a bit more than an inch) of movement of the rifle - both of the butt back into the  shoulder and of the barrel tip rising about that same distance. But sometimes the kick can be much larger - up to 6 to 10 cm depending on how firmly the shooter holds the butt of the rifle against his shoulder and how firmly he grips it. For a shot where the rifle butt is solidly contacting the shoulder and is aimed through the sights - meaning the side of his cheek or chin is also contacting the stock - this seems to cause the shoulder to kick back about .08 seconds (two frames) after the shot and then there's sometimes motion of the head forward and down about .04 seconds (one frame) after that. The head motion is not as consistent as the shoulder kick which always appears. The head motion can be absent altogether 

To see an example, 
here's another Magav rifleman from this same team firing a rubber cylinder. In this case the recoil is clearly seen.

First, some things to notice in the screen grab above . .
  • The red painted magazine base. In the Magav that means "this mag is for blanks only".
  • The rubber bullet adapter (the last several cm of the barrel starting at the enlarged part).
  • Some small yellow bits drift across the frame in the breeze immediately after the shot. 
  • I'm no expert on firing military assault rifles although I did shoot an AR15 once which is the civilian version of the M16, but I'd say this guy knows what he's doing.
Most of the interesting action can be seen in this RowVid clip. Start it at about the 35 sec mark:
RowVid clip of rifleman above
Notice these things . . 
  • The muzzle flash, smoke in the air and the rifle kick at about 41 sec . 
  • The bits of yellowish paper drifting away as the smoke clears at about 42 sec. These are remnants of the paper wad that keeps the powder from falling out through the crimps at the end of the "blank" cartridges. The IDF use these blanks (just powder and the paper wads get shot out) to propel the rubber cylinder. Blanks have no slug - unlike the very lethal NATO 5.56 mm rounds that are usually fired from an M16 rifle - that do have slugs but no wads.  

3) Now, Back to the CNN Smoking Gun Footage

If you watch carefully (below) the area where CNN Shooter's rifle barrel crosses the vertical post - while stepping through the "shot" frame (113.85) you will see that the very short distance in pixels from the post to where the rubber bullet adapter is mounted - stays the same through those frames (from a few frames before to a few frames after the shot). After the shot the image shakes a bit from the heat blast distortion (from the real shooter's rifle just to the left of this image)  but that very short pixel distance stays almost exactly the same throughout those frames.

This means pretty conclusively that there was no recoil of CNN Shooter's M16 when we should have seen it. The rifle does not move back against his shoulder and the end of the barrel does not rise. There is some visual distortion as the hot gas from the R
eal Shooter's muzzle blast crosses the area between the camera and CNN Shooter's barrel. But even that amount of "shake" doesn't perceptively change the pixel distance. That is nothing like what we'd see if CNN Shooter's rifle had been fired at that moment.

To emphasize the importance of this, unlike in the M16 Kick video, there's no perceptible muzzle flash, there's no smoke and there's no heat wave distortion of the background out in front of CNN Shooter's M16. The heat wave alone would immediately distort the image of that vertical pipe which is visually right where the muzzle blast would cross it - even though the pipe is physically a meter or more behind CNN Shooter, nearer the wall in the background.  

Recap so far: 

The CNN Shooter's rifle is not pointed in the direction where Nadeem was hit. The CNN Shooter's rifle shows no kick, no muzzle blast, no smoke, no visual distortion of items behind the heat wave - which should appear in front of his muzzle but do not.

However, there is smoke and a heat wave above the suspected muzzle location of the Magav soldier I designate as "Real Shooter".

To seal the deal, just a couple of seconds after the shot, Real Shooter can be seen standing up - bringing his previously suspected but not yet seen M16 into full view - ejecting the spent cartridge and loading the next one into the chamber. How much more proof do we need? 

Added 11/26/2014, Important: To make this clearer, the M16 rifle is designed so that a live 5.56 NATO round is capable of cycling the ammunition. It uses part of the energy of the exploding powder to automatically eject the spent brass shell and inject the next live round from the magazine into the chamber. Military M16s can therefore selectively fire in either automatic or single shot modes - in both cases without the shooter having to manually clear the chamber or recharge it. This allows a higher rate of fire and allows the shooter to keep his or her eyes looking down the sights at the target. 

The blank ammo that the IDF uses to shoot rubber cylinders has a low energy powder load to minimize injuries and so does not have the energy to cycle the ammo. The shooter must do it manually. The video clearly shows "Real Shooter" standing up and manually recharging his weapon. This would only be necessary if he had fired a blank cartridge.

So now we know, conclusively I'd say, who fired the shot that is timed with Nadeem's fall - the first shot heard in the CNN Smoking Gun footage. But the question remains as to what type of ammo he was using. Remember, CNN said in this footage Nadeem was killed by "live" rounds. And Palestinian hospital officials specifically said that Nadeem was killed by an Israeli bullet that entered his chest and exited his back. Nadeem's Dad showed us the slug taken from his dead son's back pack, where it had supposedly lodged. 

However, there's a problem with this narrative. You may have also noticed when examining the CNN footage, that  . . 

4) Bits of the yellowish paper - same as seen in the M16 Kick Video above - drifted across the screen in the CNN Smoking Gun footage immediately after the shot.

The first bit entered the screen just 1.47 seconds after the shot that supposedly killed Nadeem Nuwarah. It appeared at frame 115.32. The last bit of wad had cleared the screen by frame 115.72 - 1.87 seconds after the shot.

Because of the confusing background and shadow of the wall and grape arbor, these bits of yellowish paper are not easy to spot. They can easily be seen at 1/4 speed, however, and especially if you enlarge the image a bit on your screen.

The first bits of paper appear for me at frame 115.32 along the right hand edge of the frame, half way between the top and bottom (in the full size image).  In subsequent frames the bit(s) drift up and to the left. Remember that the camera is shooting up from the street level and so is several meters below where the shot was fired. The breeze is moderate to the SE which is parallel to the veranda wall and to the left in the CNN footage. And that's the way all the bits drift - right after each of the first two shots in the footage.
The mustachioed shooter in the M16 Kick Video seems to be at a different place along the same veranda wall but if Kick Guy's rifle is pointed in the same general direction as Real Shooter's, and if the wind direction and velocity with respect to the camera is anything like Real Shooter's - and that seems possible - then, if Real Shooter had fired a rubber bullet, I'd possibly expect to see some yellow paper wad bits drift back in front of the camera within a second or two after the shot - as "Kick Guy's" footage did. 

If the bits of the wad didn't appear in this footage we could not conclude that they did not exist. We'd have to accept that with a different camera angle and maybe a not so steady breeze, they could have drifted out of the camera's view - and so we wouldn't know for sure. But if they did show up, we'd have to accept their appearance at the right time and place as pretty good evidence that a rubber cylinder had just been shot from that M16 at that moment.

In fact, they do show up clearly in the CNN Smoking Gun footage.

The shot fired - the shot that CNN claims is the shot that killed Nadeem Nawarah with a "live" round - therefore had to be a blank cartridge propelling a rubber cylinder. Remember, rubber cylinders can only be shot with a blank cartridge. And IDF blank cartridges used to shoot rubber cylinders always have paper wads. 

IDF vets say so and paper wads are visible in almost every rubber cylinder shot caught on video - and there are lots of those. NATO 5.56 mm rounds never have wads. I have never seen video of any M16 shooting NATO 5.56 rounds produce a wad - and there are thousands of those of those available to check. And of course there's no reason for live rounds to have wads because the slug is tightly crimped within the brass casing which keeps the powder in the cartridge and seals it from moisture. 

This leads to the almost inescapable conclusion that the first shot recorded in the CNN Smoking Gun footage was fired at Nadeem by Real Shooter and had to be a rubber cylinder. 

5) To settle a final matter of confusion, what about the officer "confiscating" CNN Shooter's M16 after the shot? Doesn't that prove he was doing "something wrong" - like shooting?

I'll admit this one took me a while to figure out. I had to watch that sequence over and over. Finally I saw it. If you look again at the CNN Shooter screen grab above, one more time, you'll see something that I suspect everyone has missed so far. There is a vertical black object that seems to be leaning against the wall section that supports the gate going back to the veranda. It's right under his elbow in the image.

Now step through the frames after the shot. You can see the "officer" walk almost to the gate behind the tallest section of the wall. He then reaches down and grabs the black object and lifts it. Guess what? It's a rifle (probably his own) that he had leaned against that gate earlier. He then picks it up and you can just make out the barrel before the camera starts panning toward the six bay building where the crowd is evacuating Nadeem.

But wait. The CNN Shooter's rifle looks like it is moving too - at the same time as if the officer is about to take it from him. Well, it seems strange that the officer would grab both rifles - one in each hand - and try to lift them at the same time.  But there's no way he could even touch both rifles at the same time. The wall is about 20 ft (6 meters) from where CNN Shooter is kneeling - as is seen in the reverse veranda view above. This is a great example of the way our brains fill in the void - making a narrative to fit with what we expect to see, or in this case, what seems the most obvious interpretation. 

Rather than walk you through the screen grabs for this sequence, by now you should be pretty good at stepping through the scenes yourself to see what really happened. I'll let you have the fun of running through these frames - to verify that in these final frames before the camera pans away - there can't possibly be an exchange of CNN Shooter's M16 going on here.

To summarize, I believe in this post we have now firmly established, beyond any reasonable doubt,  that  . . 
  • The first shot from the veranda in the CNN Smoking Gun footage - the shot that is synchronized with the fall of Nadeem Nawarah in the street below - was not fired by "CNN Shooter". It was fired by the third guy from the left - "Real Shooter".
  • Because of the paper wads that appear about 1.5 seconds after the shot - he shot a rubber cylinder propelled by a blank cartridge from his M16 fitted with a rubber bullet adapter.

Remote But Possible Exceptions to the Theory Laid Out Above: Of course, it's remotely possible he was shooting just a blank with no rubber cylinder, like maybe to scare the rioters with the noise - which seems silly. But, even if he had done that, which is extremely unlikely, then the critical fact remains - if bits of the paper wad appeared shortly after the shot - there is no way he could have shot a 5.56 NATO round. And those paper bits do appear after this shot.

And, I guess if the Magav had plotted to kill some Palestinian kids that day and get away with it - they could have had someone running around on the veranda that day with a pocket full of little bits of yellow paper - to be thrown into the breeze just upwind of every shot taken - or at least after each lethal NATO round. That's seems equally as absurd as shooting blanks with no rubber cylinder. But if anyone can find any evidence of this or any other explanation for the appearance of those wads in the footage at just the right time and at just the right place, please let me know.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Post 1 of The Nakba Day Killings: Just Another Day to Hate your Neighbor

Last week I realized I needed a place to park the screenshots, diagrams, video clips and blog posts that I was accumulating while making comments with several other blograts at the Elder of Zion (EoZ) blog. EoZ has long been my favorite web destination for keeping track of what goes on in the greater Arab Israeli conflict. I usually stop by there several times a day out of habit when I'm near a connected device.

The hot topic at EoZ was a new "al Dura" - another Pallywood production in the making. This time the Palestinians with the help of Western media were accusing the Israeli Border Police (Magav) of murdering two demonstrators at this year's Nakba Day demonstrations on May 15, 2014. The BP were reported to have shot to death two "children" who presented no threat to them at the time. 

I didn't expect and I didn't want to find that Israeli forces had done this. The Palestinians have a notorious reputation for lying about almost anything that could make Israel look bad. Western NGO's and media almost always went along with the false stories, even adding their own flavor to the mix, to fit the conventional wisdom of Israel's brutality - a narrative that they had largely helped the Palestinians create. The news stories coming out already smelled fishy but I wanted to check things out for myself . The posts, discussion and wide ranging comments in the EoZ forum were all over this story like a dog on a bone.

Problem was, so many new factoids and angles were busting out every day that I soon had a problem keeping track. Since I had used Google's Blogspot  in the past to organize other projects, I picked it for this one too. This page is the current result of my efforts in that direction. I leave it public in case anyone else would like to share some information or compare notes. I'm willing to receive constructive criticism (with which I may or may not agree). I expect to add more posts on this topic as I get time since every day new information is coming in. As I write this (June 6) Israel is conducting an official investigation but has yet to produce the results.

Note: My interest in writing this blog is not to defend Israel or condemn Arabs. It is to understand the truth of events - something that I have found the media in the past several years to be very incompetent at finding and conveying. If you find anything in this blog that you believe to be incorrect - by all means, please leave a comment explaining your views. I know from past experience the Palestinian version of events is usually not too truthful - although in some cases it is. Because of that I need to be especially careful so that my past experience does not bias my judgment. I invite you to test me on that and criticize any of my posts if you have a valid criticism and some evidence to back it up.

The Setting

The events are focused in Beitunia - a Palestinian  town of about 20,000 just to the SW of and bordering Ramallah, the much larger de facto capital of the PA government on the WB. Beitunia's southern edge is effectively the security fence (sometimes called the "apartheid wall") that separates Israel area C to the south from Palestinian areas here. There is a border crossing at the security fence where Israel's highway 436 passes through. Israel's Ofer Prison sits just on the Israeli side of the border here for a km or so, stretched out along the east side of highway 436. These can all be seen in the Google map below which I have set for Earth View:

Map 1, Beitunia, 12 km North of Jerusalem (A Link to Live Google Map)

Driving north on Hwy 436 into the Palestinian controlled area - right after passing the checkpoint, on the right you'll see a large parking lot that Israeli forces apparently use as a staging area and command center during the somewhat regularly occurring demonstrations in Beitunia. As you proceed further up the road you pass some houses built on the steep hillside to the left. A couple of hundred meters from the parking lot you come to an intersection. The road to the left (to the SW) leads up to the multi-story apartment buildings and posh residences on the hill. Most of the events to be discussed will take place on this map.

Map 2, Areas of Interest (screengrab)

The events we are most concerned with occur near and around the intersection shown above. The building and shop on the NW corner provide a place where demonstrators can gain some protection from the Israeli rubber bullets usually fired from the south. The demonstrators then run out and fire some rocks from their slings at the Israeli forces along the highway and can then duck back behind the building for cover. There seem to be major demonstrations here a couple of times a year or more.

Below, is an enlarged view of that area around the intersection. Unfortunately, this Google Map is the highest resolution image I can find. Please contact me if you know of a better one. Thanks.

Map 3, Where the Alleged Killings Occurred (screengrab)

Trivia: The three lines I've added to the map above are all approximate because of the poor Earth Map resolution and inherent distortion. I will use other methods in this series of posts to more firmly establish important locations as needed. Still, I believe these lines do show the general layout pretty well.  Google Earth Distortion

From the intersection, the six bay house with the attached shed appears as shown below.  The two story structure has six garage bay doors facing NE to the main road (highway 436) street, each tall enough to house a decent sized truck. A shed addition with a sliding door facing SE to the side street has been attached to the SE facing side of the building. It appears with a blue roof in the map above.

Photo 1, The Six Bay House and Shop

The Killing of Nadeem Nawarah

Of the two alleged murders that day, that of Nadeem Nawarah was the first. 
A CNN news crew captured footage that they described as video proof that an Israeli Border Police unit (Magav) had shot and killed two teenage demonstrators in cold blood - that the boys had presented no threat to them at the time. They claimed that their news camera was rolling and had caught the Israeli forces in the act, as the lethal bullets were fired. The location was on the driveway and street in front of the six bay building and shop described above.

For the purpose of this post I'd like to pin down whether Nadeem Nuwarah was shot at from the veranda as CNN claims - and if so, by what kind of projectile. I will address other allegations and inconsistencies in the news media and Palestinian accounts of these events in future posts, as I get time.

Although the CNN news crew made many mistakes in their description of what their cameras had recorded that day surrounding the Nadeem shooting, I doubt they were wrong about who the Israeli soldiers were shooting at. Based on the edited footage they broadcast, the CNN crew had a decent view through their high quality telephoto zoom lenses. They could see the details of both the shooters on the veranda and their targets on the street and parking apron in front of the 6 bay house. I should add that they chose a position for their camera whereby foliage obscured some of the details of both the riflemen behind the short wall on the veranda as well as some areas in front of the six bay building. But I believe the CNN footage, along with other video and still photo evidence I will show you, can be used to firmly establish that Nadeem Nawarah was easily within their sights when the CNN footage recorded the first shot sound at about 1:30 in the afternoon, local time - the time when Nadeem appeared to fall from a shot from the veranda.

To put this question to rest, I believe this screen grab from the CNN footage clearly shows that both Nadeem and Muhammad (the second victim, supposedly shot about 1.5 hrs later) were visible through the rifle sights of the Israeli riflemen on the veranda. 

At this moment in the footage (2:36) Watson has just said, "As for the boys, the first one was shot and mortally wounded, right here". 

This screen grab from the CNN footage shows the supposed shot (maroon) from the soldier CNN identified as Nadeem's killer. As I will show however, the actual shooter was about 4.5 meters to his right (our left looking up to the veranda). So the actual area that the real shooter could hit (the area to the reader's left of the yellow dashed line) is even further to the right than shown, and well within the clear fire zone for where Nadeem was when he was hit. 

Also be aware that Ivan Watson is pointing to the wrong spot. Nadeem actually fell closer to the C in the CNN logo at bottom right. I'll explain this in detail later. (Note that the vehicle shown above was not there at the the time of ether shooting. Watson seems to have done this stand-up later in the day after the demonstration had subsided.)

The Veranda

I use this term to describe the paved area that the Magav team used to observe and sometimes shoot at the Palestinian demonstrators in front and on the side of the Six Bay House. You can see that the team are actually standing on a sloping ramp leading down to the highway. Of the people visible here, Magav personnel have black uniforms like the one Real Shooter was wearing. The IDF photographer guys are wearing a light olive drab uniform like the one CNN designated shooter was wearing. I have drawn a thick line to represent the M16 that a Magav team member had leaned on the gate sometime before the first shot was heard in the CNN footage. 

This view seems to have been shot from the roof of the house behind the veranda or possibly from an upstairs room in the house. This view provides a better perspective on the layout and distances between the team members as seen in other views from different viewing angles. 

This is just my best guess for the distances between the two shooters and the gate. Let me know if you think I'm off by much.

The CNN "Smoking Gun" Footage

A CNN News crew arrived sometime before 1:30 that afternoon and set up their gear on the far side of the highway - about 50 meters or so south (to the right) of the edge of the image above.This post is about what happened in that CNN Smoking Gun footage. If you'd like to follow along with the minute details that reveal what the great majority of people who have been following news reports of the killings do not know about what happened that day - then open this link below in a new tab. Drag the progress button to 1:52 and click the speed you want (1 means normal speed).

CNN Smoking Gun footage

The whole 4 minutes and 6 seconds is valuable for understanding the alleged shooting of Nadeem and the media role in it. But the critical few seconds start at 1:52 and end 22 seconds later at 1:74. These are the 22 critical seconds during which four separate shots can be clearly heard that appear to come from the veranda shown in the clip. Despite what CNN says, none of the four shots recorded can be seen clearly enough to be conclusively attributed to any particular one of the riflemen shown - at least not without a careful, frame by frame analysis of the data. That's what CNN (and the rest of the media) failed to do - and it's what we'll be doing in this blog series if you wish to follow along and contribute with your comments. 

CNN identifies the shooter as the one who's rifle clearly sticks out over the veranda wall. All other news reports I have seen agree with that description. Before getting into the more technical evidence against this claim, there are two problems easily visible in this screen grab that corresponds with the sound of the first shot on the CNN video at 1:53:

  1. At the moment of the shot the CNN identified shooter's head is erect. His aiming eye is several cm above the axis of the scope that's attached to his rifle. Notice that you can just make out his chin strap and his cheek or nose to the right of it. I guess it's possible he could have just fired in the general direction of the rioters in the street below, not really aiming. But if he was planning to shoot at Nadeem, especially if it was a 5.56 mm NATO round that could easily hit a target within a one inch circle at that distance (80 meters) - and especially if he was intending to kill someone - I'd expect this photo would show him aiming carefully through the sights. In fact, he'd have to use the scope to even have a chance to hit Nadeem with a rubber cylinder. In my opinion he's not aiming at anything here.
  2. Taking in the three dimensional perspective from this camera angle and the fact that the camera is not level on the tripod which tilts the whole image down and to the right, it seems pretty clear that his rifle is actually pointed at or above the horizon. Yet the veranda is elevated at least a dozen meters or more above the street where Nadeem fell - at a horizontal range of about 80 meters. A NATO round shot from an M16 has a muzzle velocity  of about 1000 meters per seond which gives it a virtually flat trajectory at that range. To hit someone on the street below would require the rifle to be aimed with a noticeable down angle of the rifle barrel. 
Simply based on this static image taken at the exact moment of the shot, I don't believe that the CNN designated shooter could possibly have fired a shot at that moment, no matter what kind of ammo was in the chamber. Instead, the CNN shooter is simply resting his rifle on the veranda wall and surveying the action in the street below - looking over his scope. 

So then, who was the shooter? Compare this frame grab of the third rifleman from the left (the first rifleman is past the left edge of the photo) with the CNN shooter photo above. Like the previous frame grab it is the frame timed to the sound of the shot on the footage.

Unfortunately, we can't see this rifleman's barrel (let's call him Real Shooter) because a tree in the foreground is blocking the view. But we can see a possible scope shape in the black area in front of his eyes. Also notice that third man's eyes are lined up with the axis of the possible scope - where they would have to be if he was aiming at something. They are not several cm above the scope like the CNN Shooter at right.

It's important to realize that the narrow angle of the CNN camera to the wall and its telephoto zoom makes the riflemen on the deck appear to be right next to each other. Actually, looking more straight on at the veranda wall from the area where Nadeem fell, you can see that the positions of the two riflemen of interest were actually about four to five meters apart. Note that the screen grab below was taken from a clip recorded the next day by a Palestinian videographer, on the sixteenth.

The third rifleman from left in this photo is eerily standing almost in the same spot that Real Shooter from the CNN footage was kneeling. There was no-one in the CNN shooter position when the video that provided this screen grab was recorded. However, we know CNN Shooter was in this position at the moment of the shot at Nuwarah the day before though, because in the screen grab from the CNN Smoking Gun footage recorded the day before (above) - his right hand which seems to be grasping the M16 magazine - was resting right at the tip of the rightmost arrow - where the wall takes its first step down going south from the tallest wall segment. 

Just from these three static images then, all screen grabs from video footage available to anyone with an Internet connection, it appears that CNN is likely wrong about the identity of the shooter. We also now have a possible candidate from the CNN footage that could have been the source of the first shot in the CNN Smoking Gun footage, the one timed with Nadeem's fall. That's because the third rifleman from the left was possibly aiming a rifle at something in Nadeem's direction at the time of the shot

But is he Real Shooter To go from possible to pretty certain we need to carefully watch the video footage of the 20 seconds of this event at slower frame rates, even frame by frame. Right now we can't even say that he has a rifle in his hands. You can can easily do this for yourself.

  1. Copy this URL to your clipboard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy4WXsp34IU
  2. Open a new browser tab and open the URL: rowvid.com  in the window.
  3. Paste the URL in your clipboard into the RowVid box that says: ENTER VIDEO URL OR ID 
  4. Click WATCH VIDEO
  5. Drag the button to 1:52 in the clip and click the right arrow to run it.

You can now run single frame forward and back and you can run at various speeds. I suggest you start by running through from before the first shot until after the second shot is heard. You should do this several times and at different speeds including frame by frame. I bet you'll see some interesting things. 

In my next post I'll lay out the evidence that Nadeem's shooter was indeed Real Shooter as I have named him - the third rifleman from the left. And I'll prove that the first shot heard in the CNN footage (the Nadeem shot) was a rubber cylinder. It's all in the footage. See what you come up with.