Movie clip portrayed as intelligence operations in Pakistan

Clip is actually from 2015 film ‘Eye in the Sky’ starring Helen Mirren

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Claim: A clip on Facebook, with a thumbnail that includes images of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, shows how intelligence agencies spy on citizens.

Fact: The thumbnail of the Facebook video is misleading; the clip is, in fact, from the 2015 film ‘Eye in the Sky’ starring Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, and Aaron Paul.

On 11 July 2022, Facebook page ‘Code Decode’ posted a video clip titled, “یہ دیکھیں… انٹیلیجنس ایجنسیاں کس طرح سے گھروں کے اندر کی جاسوسی کرتی ہیں [Look at this… How the intelligence agencies spy inside homes].” The post claims the video shows how Pakistani intelligence agencies operate and spy on the country’s citizens. The video’s thumbnail shows former Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Bajwa.

The video opens with a scene wherein an apparent undercover agent in Kenya is ordered by military intelligence officials in the United Kingdom to surveil four individuals through a camera disguised as an insect.

Text is superimposed on the screen throughout the video, such as:

  • “یہ سب پانچ ہزار میل دور بیٹھ کے ڈرون کی ویڈیو براہ راست دیکھ رہے ہیں [All of them are sitting five thousand miles away watching the drone video live.]”
  • “ڈرون کو اڑا کے عورت کی طرف لے کے جاؤ تاکے اس کی شکل نظر اسکے [Fly the drone towards the woman so that her face can been seen.]”

The clip also includes subtitles that appear twice, such as:

  • “هذه (دانفرد). هواي 5، قم بتأكيد الهوية من فضلك [This is Danfred. Huawei 5, confirm your ID please.]”
  • “الهوية: (سوزان هیلین دانفر) [Identity: (Susan Helen Dunford)]”

The last slide includes the following text:

“خان صاحب آپ اپنی سیکورٹی اور زیادہ سخت کر دیں۔ پتا نہیں خان صاحب کے گھر میں کس کس قسم سے جاسوسی کی جارہی ہوگی [Mr. Khan, please tighten your security even more. Who knows what kind of spying is going on in Mr. Khan’s house.]”

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check identified two individuals in the video clip: British actors Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman. We then conducted a TinEye Reverse Image Search of a screenshot from the clip and found Mirren’s interview about the movie ‘Eye in the Sky’, posted by YouTube channel Entertainment Tonight, which includes clips from the movie that match the video posted by ‘Code Deception’.

We then also searched for movies on covert military intelligence operations starring Mirren and Rickman, which led us to the same film, ‘Eye in the Sky’. At one point during the clip, the YouTube video progress bar also appears, confirming that the clip was screen-recorded.

Soch Fact Check, therefore, concludes that this clip was taken from a Hollywood movie and has nothing to do with Khan, Bajwa or the Pakistani intelligence agencies.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 1 April-3 August period using the following search term:

  • “انٹیلیجنس ایجنسیاں کس طرح سے گھروں کے اندر کی جاسوسی کرتی ہیں”

The search turned up more than 120 videos that gained over 1,400 interactions on Facebook. The results peaked twice; once on 17 July and then on 30 July. We also found two more captions:

  • “انٹیلیجنس ایجنسیاں کس طرح گھروں کے اندر ریکی کرتی ہیں۔ [How intelligence agencies recce (reconnaissance) inside homes.]”
  • “یہ دیکھیں ڈینٹونک عطا تارڑ، اور مریم نانی کا ایجنسیاں کس طرح سے گھروں کے اندر کی جاسوسی کرتی ہیں [See how the agencies spy inside the homes of ‘Dentonic’ Atta Tarar and Maryam Nani.]”

The clip posted by ‘Code Decode’ was viewed over 7.6 million times, while this video by Facebook page ‘Memory of LT Arsalan Shaheed’ was seen by more than 27,000 people.

The clip was also posted on Twitter here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The Facebook post, including the video’s thumbnail, title, and caption, are misleading. The video clip is, in fact, from the 2015 film ‘Eye in the Sky’ starring Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, and Aaron Paul.

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