Some analysts have detailed how a Boko Haram video claiming to have brought down a fighter jet was doctored.
The jet, NAF 475, went off the radar on Wednesday while on a mission to provide support to ground troops fighting Boko Haram.
The whereabouts of the two pilots remain known, as the Nigerian air force said it is still on a search and rescue mission.
On Friday, the Abubakar Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram had claimed responsibility for the incident.
In a video released by the insurgents, an aircraft was seen on fire mid-air.
The insurgents, who claimed to have shot the jet down, are later seen at the crash site making a mockery of the Nigerian military.
Commenting on the video, Hugo Kaaman, a Sweden-based analyst, said the supposed explosion of the jet was from a 2012 video.
“Boko Haram just released a video claiming it shows a NAF jet shot down by the group. Looking at the video, it appears as if the jet explodes mid-air. However, this is not true. BH took a 2012 video showing a SyAAF helicopter exploding mid-air over Idlib and superimposed it. Weak,” he tweeted.
He said while the jet really crashed, “this video merely highlights Boko Haram’s fake footage of the shootdown itself”.
Calibre Obscura, another analyst, said the Boko Haram video was “deceptively edited,” as it is unclear what caused the crash.
“I’d say HMG/cannon fire or mechanical issues,” the analyst added.
War Noir, an analyst who also checked the video, said it “seems to be edited” and that the “airplane is likely damaged before (not by MANPADS but likely by other weapons, perhaps HMG)”.
BOKO HARAM ‘DOESN’T HAVE THE WEAPON’ TO BRING DOWN AN ALPHA JET
The air force, while dismissing Boko Haram’s video, had said the insurgents lack the capabilities to bring down the jet.
“Although the video is still being thoroughly analysed, it is evident that most parts of the video were deliberately doctored to give the false impression that the aircraft was shot down,” the air force had said.
Senior military officers who spoke with TheCable on Saturday said it is only a “helicopter gunship” that can be easily brought down in that manner.
“The jet lost navigation, or it could be round jam, avionics. Then this happened overhead of the BHT camp, and it crashed,” one of the officers, who is also a pilot, said.
“Anti-aircraft cannot drop an alpha jet like that. Only helicopter gunships are easily dropped like that. It must be a technical failure. For us, it calls for no comment because it’s no issue.”
Another officer said an anti-aircraft gun that could bring down that jet would be an “artillery Shilka that its radar must be working 100 percent”.
“Even if Boko Haram has that Shilka, they can’t have the radar,” he said.
“Not even MANPADS will bring down that NAF 475. The jet is a smart aircraft. The Control system it uses is different from normal airplanes. The jet can do 360 degrees within seconds to dodge any missile. In fact, if any round of missiles is a second close, it could still swerve to dodge.”
The officers said they’ve analysed the video and that the most significant weapon observed is a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), and this, they said, cannot bring down the air force fighter jet.
The video seems to be editted. So the airplane is likely damaged before (not by MANPADS but likely by likely other weapons, perhaps HMG).