Republicans spread false claim about Taliban executing a man from helicopter

WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – Numerous Republicans, including Sen Ted Cruz and Rep Dan Crenshaw of Texas, shared a false claim that the Taliban had just executed a man by hanging him from a Black Hawk helicopter in Afghanistan.

The 11-second clip has been viewed over three million times after it was posted to Twitter by “comedian” @Holbornlolz. The video, which was somewhat blurry, showed a man dangling from a rope attached to a helicopter. The "comedian" inaccurately captioned the video: "Taliban hanging someone from a helicopter in Kandahar."

Cruz added his own assertion above the comedian s tweet, tweeting: "This horrifying image encapsulates Joe Biden s Afghanistan catastrophe: The Taliban hanging a man from an American Blackhawk helicopter. Tragic. Unimaginable." Crenshaw also used the video to criticize Biden s withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan, tweeting: "In what ‘…..’ world was it a good idea to just hand over a country to these people."

 

Afghan news agency Asvaka, who had their own recording of the incident in question, told fact-checkers at Alt News that the dangling man was trying to fix a flag at the governor’s building in Kandahar.

Twitter added a warning to the original video stating that the media is presented out of context, but did not remove it.

The video, and the false claim that it depicted a Taliban execution, was shared by Republican politicians Sen Ted Cruz and Rep Dan Crenshaw.

In the now-deleted quote tweet from Cruz, he commented: “This horrifying image encapsulates Joe Biden’s Afghanistan catastrophe: The Taliban hanging a man from an American Blackhawk helicopter. Tragic. Unimaginable."

In a follow-up tweet, Cruz admitted that the video he shared “may be inaccurate” - while again sharing the fake video.

VERDICT

Apparent further evidence (a more zoomed in video and photos of a similar scene on the same day) point toward a viral video purported to show a man killed by the Taliban as alive and part of an organized maneuver. This content shows him moving and tied to a harness.