On May 18, an Israeli airstrike bombed the high-rise building housing Al Jazeera and The Associated Press’ offices in Gaza City. A screenshot of an article reporting the incident has been shared portraying the reporter donning a Hamas headband. It is being claimed that a journalist with the Associated Press forgot to remove his Hamas headband before live reporting.

Facebook page ‘AAP is No More for Aam Aadmi‘ wrote a bizarre caption that read, “It is true that a Shantidoot (euphemism for Muslims) is a Shantidoot first and a news reporter, police officer, or politician second…Those who were criticizing Israel for attacking the media are silent now that this journalist has been exposed as a member of Hamas, a terrorist organization banned by the UN and over 150 countries. Someday, Ravish Kumar may also forget to remove his Hizbul Mujahideen headband before going live on the air”.

Several Twitter users have promoted the claim. (Archive link)

Former RSS worker Umesh also made the same claim while sharing the screenshot.

The image is viral on Facebook and Twitter.

In fact, it is also circulating on Telegram channels.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Morphed image

Two different photographs were morphed together to make it appear that the reporter was sporting a Hamas headband. A reverse image search of the image on Yandex revealed that the original photo featured MSNBC anchor Ayman Mohyeldin, who was previously a correspondent with Al Jazeera. Mohyeldin was detained by the Egyptian military in 2011 and was released nine hours later.

A reverse image search of the background led us to the YouTube channel of the Argentine newspaper La Nacion. The background of this video was used to create the screenshot in question.

Furthermore, the viral screenshot reads ‘Babylon Bee’ which is a satirical platform. Its Twitter handle boasts a following of over 9.5 lakh with a bio that states, “Trafficking in misinformation under the guise of satire since 2016.”

The article amassed over 8,000 retweets from Babylon Bee’s handle.

A morphed image was thus, used to claim that a reporter with Associated Press forgot to take off his Hamas headband before going on live air.

Donate to Alt News!
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.

Donate Now

About the Author

Abhishek is a senior fact-checking journalist and researcher at Alt News. He has a keen interest in information verification and technology. He is always eager to learn new skills, explore new OSINT tools and techniques. Prior to joining Alt News, he worked in the field of content development and analysis with a major focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).