A forensic analysis commissioned by The UK Times found many irregularities in the video — making it appear to not be the actual execution of the doomed freelancer. The analysis concluded that Foley was beheaded, but it possibly did not occur on camera.
“I think it has been staged,” one visual forensics expert said in The Times report. “My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped.”
Two major oddities in the video made the forensic analysts consider the alleged execution phony. There was no blood shed while the British-accented jihadi made several cuts to the neck of Foley, no incision can be seen, and the sounds made by the journalist are not consistent with other beheadings. There also appears to be some sort of blip during Foley’s speech that may indicate the freelancer was forced to repeat a line in his on-screen monologue.