Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 09, 2020

Pentagon Accuses Iran Of Shooting Down A Ukrainian Plane But Its Evidence Is Flimsy

The Pentagon is accusing Iran's air defense of shooting down the Ukraninan plane that crashed yesterday near Tehran. The Pentagon says that it was an accidental incident. But the evidence on which the claim is based is flimsy.

We reported yesterday on flight PS752:

Hours after Iran had launched the missiles a Ukrainian airliner crashed three minutes after it had taken off from Tehran airport. All 176 people on board died. The passengers were mostly from Iran, Canada and the Ukraine. The airplane was a three years old Boeing 737-800 NG operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, the country's flag carrier. Video shows the burning airliner coming down on a glide path. Photos from the crash site show shrapnel like impacts on the fuselage. The evidence is consistent with an uncontained turbine disc rupture but other potential causes can not be ruled out. The incident will be investigated like all other airliner crashes.

In the update we added:

Higher quality daylight pictures of the crashed Ukrainian plane show that at least some of the "shrapnel impact holes" are not holes at all but are debris or dirt lying on top of the aircraft pieces. Additional pictures also show no evidence of an externally induced event.

The Flight Data Recorders of the airplane were found. Iran will download the data from them or, if it does not have that capability, will ask some other country (France?, Germany?) to do so. A preliminary accident report will be published after one month.

Newsweek now reports:

The Ukrainian flight that crashed just outside the Iranian capital of Tehran was struck by an anti-aircraft missile system, a Pentagon official, a senior U.S. intelligence official and an Iraqi intelligence official told Newsweek.
The aircraft is believed to have been struck by a Russia-built Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile system, known to NATO as Gauntlet, the three officials told Newsweek.

Two Pentagon officials assess that the incident was accidental. Iran's anti-aircraft were likely active following the country's missile attack, which came in response to the U.S. killing last week of Revolutionary Guard Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, sources said.

How would an Iraqi intelligence official, likely controlled by the CIA, know what happened in Tehran? The evidence the reporter notes is not very convincing:

Images began to circulate Wednesday of what appeared to be fragments of a Tor M-1 missile said to have been found in a suburb southwest of Tehran. Ukraine Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danylov said Thursday in a statement that contact with a Tor M-1 system was among the potential causes for the plane's destruction that his country was looking into.

Other potential scenarios involved a collision with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or another flying object, technical malfunction and a terrorist attack.

These are the two images in question:

bigger - bigger

The left picture was posted yesterday at 17:50 UTC on Twitter by the Farsi and English tweeting account "Azematt".


The second picture was posted by another Farsi and English tweeting account name "Liberalist_30" at 10:15 UTC today.

Both pictures show the navigation and steering head section of a 9k331 missile used in the Russian Tor M-1 anti-air system. (The warhead is behind the head section and explodes towards the sides of the missile. This leaves the head section intact.)

The Independent had already reported on the images and noted the problems with them:

Over the last day, at least two images of what appeared to be missile debris from Russian-made Tor missiles have appeared on social media. The photographs had not previously been uploaded to the internet before yesterday, but attempts to geolocate to the crash site have so far been unsuccessful. They may be unconnected.
Elliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat, the digital investigation group famous for their investigation into the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, confirmed that the photograph of Tor missile debris were new images as far as the internet was concerned. But writing on Twitter, he suggested independent verification may prove elusive.

“There’s other examples of this type of debris documented in other conflicts, so there’s no way to know this is in Iran,” he said.

Even a blind chicken might find a corn. For once Higgins is right. There are certainly other pictures of used Tor missile heads available.


There are also many Farsi/English Twitter accounts that are operated by the anti-Iranian MEK cult known for its cooperation with U.S. intelligence services. Whoever provided the pictures might have done so to falsely accuse Iran.

The Tor-M-1 (video) is a highly-mobile Russian-made system used for medium altitude anti-aircraft tasks. In 2007 Iran bought 29 Tor M-1 units from Russia. The Iranian Tor are operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC).


It is likely that there are Tor systems around Tehran and it is certain that they were on high alert in the hours after Iran had launched missiles towards U.S. bases in Iraq.

But there were several flights out of Tehran in the early hours of January 8. The departure of flight PS752 was delayed. It took off at 6:12 local time. The airplane climbed out of Tehran airport in a rather straight line. The teams that man the Tor systems around Tehran must be used to the regular radar track of civil planes coming out of Tehran airport. That makes an accidental launch somewhat unlikely.

As the Independent also noted:

Early theories about the cause of the crash focussed on engine failure. On Wednesday evening, a Reuters report, citing five intelligence officers, said the western intelligence community was minded to believe technical malfunction was the most likely reason. Ukraine’s embassy in Iran initially sided this way, ruling out the possibility of a missile attack, before hastily removing the statement.

The Ukrainian plane had CFM 56 engines. These have in past years experienced uncontained failures. In April 2018 BBC reported:

A female passenger died after she was nearly sucked from the cabin of a Southwest Airlines flight travelling from New York to Dallas on Tuesday.
An initial investigation found evidence of metal fatigue where a fan blade had broken off, according to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

A similar incident was recorded in 2016 involving a Southwest flight that landed safely in Florida.

Uncontained engine failures can damage the tanks of an airplane and can set it on fire. They can also lead to all kinds of other damage. Any plane that survives such an incident is very lucky.

It is possible that an Iranian Tor system accidentally brought down the Ukrainian plane. It is also possible that it experienced an engine failure that ruptured the full fuel tanks and set it on fire. Something else like a bird strike may have cause engine damage. There are many other possibilities. We will have to wait for more evidence and for the results of the ongoing investigation to learn what really happened.

But there is one thing that we can say for sure. Two pictures of missile heads taken at an unknown location by unknown persons at an unknown time are not sufficient evidence for any accusations against Iran.

Posted by b on January 9, 2020 at 18:49 UTC | Permalink

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"They should roast the New York Times and Bellingcat for this."

The Brown Noses Legion is known for doing that to itself, no outside assistance required. Remember the pictures of Russian armor columns and whatnot supposedly crossing into Ukraine to invade? Turned out the pics were several years old and from somewhere deep in Russian territory. Internet sleuths found the original source and published it, complete with date.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 10 2020 17:08 utc | 301


Of course the investigators have collected the pieces and moved elsewhere to avoid meddling and people that shouldnt be on the place.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 10 2020 17:11 utc | 302

Maybe this is naive, I'm no expert in the field, but I find it so hard to believe that the Iranian military were not aware that multiple commercial aircraft were flying out of Tehran and the leadership didn't inform all missile operators to be mindful of such aircraft that don't even emit the same sound as fighter jets. I mean they must have been aware of departures and usual flight path.

None of this makes sense. Either it's mechanical failure or a foreign actor was involved. Weren't some planes of this model 737 recalled for cracks in the fuselage?

Posted by: Circe | Jan 10 2020 17:13 utc | 303

Ok, time to get serious. Sorry if all this has already been presented here and discussed...

This is what the records show of the flightpath, and the line ends when all communications were cut with the plane:
Quite normal, it was making a slight turn on the right to position towards Kiev.

Guardian has a stupidly tilted map of the whole thing, but still it should give an idea of the various locations and give some first hints:

Now, the location of the crash is supposed to be here, with debris reasonably spread for a few hundreds meters around, what you'd expect of a plane who basically crashes and explodes on impacting the ground:

Basically, the plane flew off the grid between Parand and Khalajabad for as long as it flew on record since takeoff from airport to Parand area. Alleged video of the last minute and crash showed it was still flying at a quite regular pace, losing height regularly as well, until the crash - with a fire burning all along.
So, we know that the Boeing wasn't going down fast, plummeting to its demise, it was a pace closer to its takeoff's. We also know that it basically did a 120° turn on the right to end up where it crashed. We can also rule out a plane spiralling out of control.

At which point did it turn right and why are the most important questions, in my opinion. And by "why", I mean: did the pilot make a turn and was trying to go back to the airport - in which case circiling around it until it could land coming from the West, I suppose -, or was untonctrollable and for some reason it shifted right.

Is this consistent with any form of missile impact? Is this consistent for a manpad hit? Is this quite common for a plan who got a smaller hit (bird, drone), possibly on the engine? Is this more consistent with a plane who got a serious technical problem?
What could disable comms with the airport and create fire, and would also explain how the plane behaved in the last 3 minutes (turn right and reasonably paced descent until crash?

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 10 2020 17:13 utc | 304

@S (204)

That was a quote. Reading comprehension.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 10 2020 17:16 utc | 305

Bob In Portland @295:

When the plane was serviced in Ukraine two days before the incident the Ukrainians put a bomb on it. It was triggered after takeoff.

See my comment @282


Israel admitted to the mysterious warehouse explosions in Iraq and many suspect that they were also behind the mysterious attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf Israel is already essentially at war with Iran via Israel's bombing of Iranian soldiers in Syria.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10 2020 17:19 utc | 306

@299 on IR guidance. The UK Blowpipe and a Swedish manpad whose name I forget are not Infrared guided.

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Jan 10 2020 17:20 utc | 307

This should give you some clue as to the general population's feelings toward their ruling elites.

Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 17:05 utc | 300

You've got it the wrong way round there. It's not "the general population's feelings", but the elite and exiles (and much of the middle class), who've been out of power for forty years, and think they have the right to be back there, and who spend their time mouthing off against the regime. The actual general population continue to support the regime, and vote them back in.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 10 2020 17:21 utc | 308

Sorry but no bomb, no missile, just a poorly maintained engine that broke. The mundane evidence has already been seen, while the extraordinary evidence needed to prove the hysterical claims of bombs and missiles is refuted and debunked. Too bad the same amount of effort wasn't put into confirming Iran's casualty claims I posted from Pepe Escobar and the PressTV vid of the presser held by Iranian military. Real sad for the bar's reputation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10 2020 17:24 utc | 309

Little map using various sources:

Posted by: vasco valente | Jan 10 2020 17:31 utc | 310

OF course Canada is going to support whatever idiocy America spews on this Ukrainian plane crash.

Canada is basically America's 51st state.

If Crazytown, USA (aka Washington DC) said that there there was significant Intel that the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny exist, the Canadians would pronounce that they too had intel that the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny exist, eh.

‘Canada Adopts America First Foreign Policy,’ US State Dept boasted in 2017, with appointment of FM Chrystia Freeland

Posted by: ak74 | Jan 10 2020 17:33 utc | 311

karlof1 @309: just a poorly maintained engine that broke.

Then why no communication from cockpit to tower? Declare an emergency and turn back.

The slight turn to the right is not a turn-back. It's almost as though the crew was incapacitated and the flight just naturally turned and lost altitude until it crashed.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10 2020 17:34 utc | 312

How many of you have actually been to Iran? I bet less than a handful. You have so many opinions about the country, but have never visited? How many of you actually know or have spoken to Iranians who have immigrated to your country? Do you base your opinions of the country on things you don't like in the media or things you have read on this site and similar ones? It is an interesting thing. A blog filled with people who have little or no connection to Iranians and have little or no knowledge of what's happening to people inside the country. I understand many of you are entertained reading about the confrontation between Iran and the US, and you sympathise with the country because it supposedly stands up to the imperialists or whatever label you want to use, but I assure you, you would not last a single week living in Iran. You have little idea what the population has to endure in order for the mullahs, military and bazaaris to continue holding onto the country's power and wealth. It is a very sad thing. What is happening to people there. And the blame cannot all be put on the Americans. There is corruption, bigotry, dictatorship, incompetence, censorship and more. You can be for people, without siding with governments. This blog seems to live in a black and white world where one side is the good guy and the other is bad. Sometimes that narrative is broken by b throwing in a one or two liner at the end about how the under dog country could be acting in the wrong in some way.

Don't you all find it amusing that all the reporters and bloggers and journalists and commentators who are defending the IRI don't even live in Iran, are not Iranians and have little connection to the country? It is a joke.

Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 17:35 utc | 313

haven't read through the thread, but I saw Iran invited US and Boeing to help investigate.

Posted by: scottindallas | Jan 10 2020 17:35 utc | 314

Correction @312

In that scenario we would expect that the crew would .. Declare an emergency and turn back.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10 2020 17:39 utc | 315

@ninel (313)

You have little idea what the population has to endure in order for the billionaires, military and corporations is to continue holding onto the country's power and wealth. It is a very sad thing. What is happening to people there. And the blame cannot all be put on the Iranians. There is corruption, bigotry, dictatorship, incompetence, censorship and more.

I just changed two words (italicized) in your lament to describe the US.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 10 2020 17:45 utc | 316

I reckon the Iranians are perfectly aware of the real reason the aircraft came down. (Either sabotage or manpad - but I don't claim to really know) What they are doing is to invite all the sceptical countries representatives, official investigation groups - to the opening of the Black box. Which the individual anti-iranian groups will not be allowed to get their hands on (at least at first). Followed by an "Investigation" that will show the truth.
What will the MSM, US and Canadians do when their own reps are forced to admit that it was either A) due to lousy maintenance in Ukraine
B) sabotage by "their" own MEK terrorist representatives.?
(If the Iranians can prove the latter, then the "False flag" is turned against the MEK or other originators)

The photos b supplied with the Tor guidance unit seem to include a plastic luncheon box that wasn't displaced by the "shock" of a guidance unit falling from a great height and at great speed.(left) which spoilt the picture a bit and then was moved (right). Both pictures are "ecolo" as the grass wasn't burnt.

The time lag between loss of signal and crash (4.5 mins total) is a sign that suggests that there could have been a preliminary explosion (in the engine?) that also cut communications, followed by a slow turn (possibly still under control) a long glide, and a final crash with the plane upside down (PavewayIV question why vertical tail was the first bit to be ripped off)

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 10 2020 17:47 utc | 317

Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 17:35 utc | 313

Don't you all find it amusing that all the reporters and bloggers and journalists and commentators who are defending the IRI don't even live in Iran, are not Iranians and have little connection to the country? It is a joke.

Could have got something to do with getting lied into a pointless war with the claim of 'weapons of mass destruction". After all evil Saddam Hussein was right, when he said he did not posess them.

Could also have something to do with everyone citing "sources". Our NATO commander topped the logic with "there is not reason not to believe these reports". He is supposed to have verified them or to shut up.

We are no specialists on Iran, but well experienced in the lies our governments tell us.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 17:47 utc | 318

MoA is becoming more popular, we're also seeing more trolls. Consider it a compliment b.

Posted by: Peter | Jan 10 2020 17:48 utc | 319

karlof1 says:

Too bad the same amount of effort wasn't put into confirming Iran's casualty claims I posted from Pepe Escobar and the PressTV vid of the presser held by Iranian military

yeah, really. seems like the less the evidence, the more the conjecture, thus proving the maxim that writing(scribbling) is indeed, an intrinsically infantile impulse.

Posted by: john | Jan 10 2020 17:52 utc | 320

add to 318

It has also something to do with the role Iraqi expats played in the runup to the Iraq war lying about their country. I am definitively not interested to pay for bringing Iranian monarchists to power, I also do not support better contracts for Western oil companies or more money spent on military contractors.
As you are obviously an Iranian expat living in the West, you are welcome. Just don't expect me to support exporting Western lifestyle to Iran.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 17:57 utc | 321

How many of you have actually been to Iran? I bet less than a handful. You have so many opinions about the country, but have never visited?

Posted by: ninel | Jan 10 2020 17:35 utc | 313

And how about your credentials, then? I don't remember any reference from you that suggests you're in a different situation.

Me, I've been involved with Iran for fifty years, and I'm currently banned from the US, because I've got Iraqi and Iranian stamps in my passport.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 10 2020 17:58 utc | 322


It was mentioned by Likklemore @163 and again by me @167. Kinda got lost in the shuffle.

They have also, purportedly, invited Boeing....

Posted by: dh | Jan 10 2020 18:02 utc | 323


Seems like you need to learn a bit:

This is from 2013.

Iranians feel Sanctions, Blame U.S., Not iranian gov

so perhaps you can imagine how iranians feel today many years later with even worse sanctions. They do not attack the gov. but the US. Deal with it.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 10 2020 18:02 utc | 324

peter au, walter and paveway... thank you for the input... thanks to many others as well...

look at it from a propaganda warfare angle... it is about controlling the narrative... almost immediately the 5 liars (thanks hoarsewhisperer) gang are on this promoting that it was a missile and iran probably fucked up... so people are given the '''most likely''' lingo right out of the gate and it is constant back up from then til now...

it doesn't matter about what the facts are, or what will be found out.. it was the same deal with mh17 - the evil ruskies did it.. same deal skripal case - novichok ruskies..

so, i think it is fair to say that while we all try to get to the bottom of it - 5 liars are not interested in the facts, but in promoting a particular narrative that is hostile to iran 24-7...

jen left a video ''mh 17 - in search of the truth'' that i would like to recommend if you want to see an example of narrative control... that is what this is about too.. thanks jen..

oh and ninel - laguerre has been to iran many times and he is disputing your bullshit.. might want to reconsider..

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2020 18:05 utc | 325

Looking at the 2 photos of the navigation and steering head section of a 9k331 missile. I am surprised no one commented on the 2 distinct shadows that appear to be the same location in each photo. Its like the photos were taking at the same time because the shadow in the left photo doesnt move. The lunch box (White rectangular box)in the photo has moved in the second photo. Where is the impact damage?

Posted by: 1 | Jan 10 2020 18:11 utc | 326


"What will the MSM, US and Canadians do when their own reps are forced to admit "

They don't do admitting, they do ignoring.

See the real reasons for Benghazi and the Ambassador's violent end.

See Ghouta and MIT Prof Postol's expert input. Gave Higgins a black eye. Higgins got a promotion.

See Douma and the OPCW...shhh, next shiny thing please. 'Iran, Iran, Iran!! Not Russia Russia that time.

See Al Shakhour sp? 'Beautiful babies and chocolate cake fame. Hangin' judge Roy Bean Trump presiding. Why wait for proof, just fire those cruise missiles

See 'President Trump' say, too bad about that Kashoggi fellow,. On to priorities, my Arms Sales Quota.

President Trump, he's making the world a safer place don't you know.

Posted by: Bubbles | Jan 10 2020 18:21 utc | 327

US carried out more assassinations against iranians that day!

On day U.S. forces killed Soleimani, they launched another secret operation targeting senior Iranian official in Yemen

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 10 2020 18:26 utc | 328

As I feared, everyone's taking Zio controlled puppets talking points as main messages and talking about Boeing this and Boeing that. No way man. I hope the investigation determines the truth. I hope everyone remembers that the US should leave the region. That's the issue here being distracted from. US out of Middle East

Posted by: Jezabeel | Jan 10 2020 19:39 utc | 329

Some great comments by fellow Canuckleheads re JT, Canadian vassalage. Bubbles @327hit a home run imo.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 10 2020 20:23 utc | 330

I am of the opinion that the shooting down of this plane is part of a propaganda effort to muddy the 'moral' waters;part and parcel to the operation of killing General Soleimani.

So Called Intelligence Entities:
We can assassinate Soleimani but it is a vile act that is very hard to dress up as anything but immoral and dishonorable: the act of a coward too afraid to fight on a battlefield.

We solve this perception problem by a near simultaneous shooting down of a civilian airliner to make it look like the Iranian regime is just as immoral. In essence, we try to drag Iran into the mud and make them look as filthy as we are.
If they refuse to give up the black box we scream foul. If they give it up, we doctor it or we lie about it's contents.
[Aside: Black box audio is often meaningless; pilots are doing mental calculations in what is often a changed time perception situation where their focus is trying to save lives [not a pilot; have had what I describe happen in 3 automobile accidents where time change allows rapid decision making for a least damaging outcome]. The active mind is non-verbal. Co-pilot may say something useful. I am no expert. I just doubt that audio is that definitive and would assume that ECM info would be critical and, along with the forensic evidence at the site, would allow a differentiation between mechanical/electrical failure vs bombing/sabotage.]
We pick a flight with lots of Iranian-Canucks because it has the added benefit of telling our allies "Don't do business with Iran". We demand that everyone collude with our attempt to starve them and let their children die of infectious disease (just like Iraq and Sadaam in the 90"s).
I doubt the lunatic Mossad guys, Pentagon drones or Intel guys are thinking 5 years down the road.
My Conclusion:
Reputations take decades to build and can be destroyed in an instant of horrible behavior. Nations and persons are subject to public opinion. The U.S. just went from being perceived as a hapless, vicious boxer trying to win a 12 round fight by every dirty trick in the book to being a cold blooded psychopath who kills civilians, foreign leaders and then lies about it. The reputational damage is immense. Many westerners are now prepared to nod in agreement when Iranians scream 'The Great Satan must be destroyed'. We know it is not the American people. They know it too. The individual American is not the Great Satan and never have Iranians claimed this.
What most informed observers can agree on is that the U.S. MIC and the Israeli Firsters are the threat to world peace not the Iranians, Russians or Chinese. Public opinion will shift in the US. World opinion already has.
There is no going back to an Age of Innocence. Monopolies of power are very dangerous. Even more dangerous is the phase during which the near monopoly begins to end. We have been in that stage for decades. Hopefully it will end and multi-polarity becomes a norm with established treaties and conventions. We are currently not there but are in the Wild West with the Lone Ranger and his vicious, psychopathic Talmudic sidekick.
I hope that all good people are praying and wishing for Peace. I am.

Posted by: dorje | Jan 10 2020 20:57 utc | 331

Trudeau needs to be shot with hot shit until he suffocates!

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jan 10 2020 22:58 utc | 332

Syrian Girl @Partisangirl just tweeted that the video sent to the NYT was edited - Jump Cut.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 10 2020 23:18 utc | 333

col from Oz@168

Good points about the shootdown of MH17.

I was very disappointed that almost no one mentioned that the AN26 cargo planes shot down by the DPR were flying at low altitude to drop supplies to the Ukrainian troops caught in a pocket in the South East corner of the DPR/LPR.

The shoot down of MH17 allowed some three brigades it the best Ukrainian troops to escape the cauldron as the DPR forces were redirected/focussed to the crash site.

As for the Ukrainian plane that crashed in Iran, the BUK-M1 theory is unlikely on two grounds:
(1) Their BUK nose cone pictures did not show and soil disturbance one would expect from such a object falling a few thousand feet (see also planted chlorine gas cylinders in Syria);
(2) MUK missile trails have a large smoke/heat trail at launch which no one on the ground observed.

Fire in a 737 max and NG models has happened before and there are youtube videos of this event in Russia and Israel.

As of forensic metallurgy it was not done in the MH17 case and I am not holding my breath in this case as it is very hard to do properly and is apparently beyond the skill of any European laboratory.

Posted by: krollchem | Jan 11 2020 3:35 utc | 334

Now also (obviously CIA-controlled) Iranian national TV has joined this ridiculous fals flag operation.

Posted by: Tinfoil Tim | Jan 11 2020 4:23 utc | 335

yesterday at 201 i posted this link
it said in headline Iran says is certain no missile hit Ukrainian plane before crash
Friday, 10 January 2020 8:58 AM [ a few hours later I look up , and Iran says one of its own did mistakenly did it.. what turned this around? This is the first time I have seen wrong information at Presstiv.. or did i read it wrong.. sorry .. did not mean to mislead anyone. also this link said the same thing.

Posted by: snake | Jan 11 2020 6:02 utc | 336

I'm surprised you people didn't blame the White Helmets until the latest news.

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Jan 11 2020 19:23 utc | 337

Everything is possible!

I just can’t understand how someone was filming before impact .
Did they have prior knowledge?
It is almost impossible to randomly record the night sky and capture such footage.
Could the missile system be hacked?

Check this article from 2012:

Posted by: Just me | Jan 12 2020 6:52 utc | 338

@Just me #338: The article you are referencing is based on a Stratfor employee’s email decribing his meeting with a Mexican ex-cop who was talking out of his ass. See my comment on the other thread for details.

Posted by: S | Jan 12 2020 7:44 utc | 339

The Western intel has not been made public and Trump said people do not have the right to see it. Oh really? Of course, what we are doing here is speculation but what else are we supposed to do? Frankly, it is remarkable that the governments have done nothing but made vague references to "intelligence". What do they have to hide? So, the only piece of evidence is, still, the video posted on the Bellingcat website. It was posted on Twitter before and I guess the guy who posted it had been sent it through Telegram.

Based on the Revolutionary Guard's explanation (plotted on the map), the missile was shot from the north. By the way, one Twitter account already knew that the TOR unit was in the north. Yes, I know this video was verified by the NYT and AP but since it is the only piece of concrete evidence, one can only keep watching and re-watching it.

So, why does the annotation on the video indicate the missile was coming from the WEST when the Revolutionary Guard said the missile was, in fact, shot from the NORTH? Did Bellingcat do the geolocation correctly? If not, instead of the guy pointing the camera to the north, he must have been holding it towards the east. (And let's skip the obvious question, what was he doing there in the first place?) Then the plane must have been coming towards him, yet we see no lights. The only explanation I can think of is that by that time the plane had already started turning right.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Jan 12 2020 17:33 utc | 340

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