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Russian Media Outlets Are Spreading A False Photo Of The London Attack Suspect

The photo of a man holding a knife is from an incident in 2013.

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The Russia 24 news channel repeatedly aired an old photo of a man with a knife and falsely identified him as the suspect in the attack outside the British parliament in Westminster.

YouTube / Via

"This is him a few seconds before he attacked a policeman and a few seconds before he was shot," the host said during the segment. They said the information was coming from colleagues in London.

“He has a normal kitchen knife, which you can buy in any store," one of the hosts said while describing the attacker.

"We’ve already noted the characteristic headgear," he said, referring to the man's hat. "This type of headgear is worn in Afghanistan and in Pakistan and in another country in that region."

In addition to repeating the claim on live television, Russia 24's parent company Vesti also promoted the false article and image on Facebook, where the company's page has over 1,700,000 followers.


Vesti did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment, and has posted no corrections or retractions.

They weren't the only Russian outlets to use the incorrect image. According to a tweet from Moscow Echo editor Vladimir Varfolomeev, broadcaster Channel 5 also had a story featuring the wrong man as the suspect. That story has since been removed from its website.

Jane Lytvynenko is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada. PGP fingerprint: A088 89E6 2500 AD3C 8081 BAFB 23BA 21F3 81E0 101C.

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