Fact-Check: Fake Image Of Pakistani PM Being Strip-Searched At US Airport
April 11th, 2018
Image Credit: Ayupp
Recently, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had to undergo a security check at JFK Airport in New York during a visit. From then a picture which is said to be of Pakistan Prime Minister is going viral on social media, claiming that this photograph was taken while he was going through the security check. The blurred photograph shows a man stripping down at the airport security. This photograph has been shared thousands of times with different narratives in a number of pages, groups and personal profiles on Facebook. A page called BJP which has over 100,000 followers shared it on March 29 with the heading “Pigs took Kulbhushan’s wife’s mangalsutra, U.S authorities took the Pakistani PM’s pants off” (translated). At the time of writing this article, this post from BJP page has been shared more than 62,000 times.
Another page Rohit Sardana Fan Club which has about 500,000 followers shared the same picture with the title “Stripping down Pakistani pride” (translated). This image has been shared 2000 times at the time of writing this article.
This image is viral on Twitter as well. Many twitter users tweeted this picture saying “Whoever messes with India, has been stripped by America” (translated).
Is it indeed Pakistani PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi?
In fact it is not! When Altnews put the image through Google Reverse Image search we found many pages with this photograph.
In fact this image is from a 2015 news article from the Daily Mail. The image is from St. Petersburg. In a bizarre incident a man fed up of security checks completely stripped and walked through the metal detector after which he picked his clothes and walked off. This whole incident was captured on CCTV camera. In the reverse search, this link uncova.com‘s image can be seen below.
Below is the video of the whole incident uploaded on February 16, 2015 on YouTube.
Another facebook page Doval Fan Club which has more than 37,00,000 followers shared these two images on 30th March. It has been shared more than 37000 times.
“ The news is that for the first time in history a head of a country was stripped naked for search in another country”
(translated). With these words, this page has taken two pictures. When we put the first picture on Google reverse image we found out that this picture was not of the Pakistani PM but of a traveler in Charlotte airport of North Carolina. According to the Daily Mail report, he was apparantly protesting his flight to Jamaica being overbooked and he took his clothes off in protest.
Below, we have compared the pictures and we find that in the picture shared on Facebook, the face is blurred and in the original picture, we can clearly see that it is not Abbasi.
In the video uploaded below the entire incident can be viewed. This video was uploaded on youtube by TomoNews US on May 26, 2015.
Since the time it was reported by media that the Pakistani PM has been searched at a US airport, old pictures from the internet are being shared. Because the news of Pakistani PM being frisked is true, people are forwarding these images believing them to be credible.
Published with the permission from Alt News.