Who is Jihadi John? CNN’s blooper hints he’s… Putin

CNN International live broadcast (Screenshot)
As the world media raced to break the identity of the Islamic State killer nicknamed Jihadi John, some of them moved too fast. Like CNN, who unexpectedly paraded Vladimir Putin’s image in its Who-is-Jihadi-John report.

Thursday’s report by Max Foster from the London office of CNN International was supposed to reveal the identity of Jihadi John, a young British man who is believed to have executed a number of ISIS hostages.

Yet, as his report was going into its fourth minute, the on-air gallery depicting a masked man in black robes with a knife in his hand gave way to the image of a somewhat sarcastic Russian president.

“I think, certainly there are concerns now about hostages being put at risk, and about eventually prosecuting this man, Jihadi John, in the future,” Foster was saying, oblivious of the change of picture next to him.

Last September, British security services managed to identify Mohammad Emwazi, who featured in several extremist videos of the beheadings of the US and British hostages. There has been a long discussion whether it was appropriate to reveal his identity to the general public, intensified by claims that it could put many lives at stake.

READ MORE: Graphic content: CNN’s top 10 embarrassing blunders

As for CNN, bloopers seem to be tormenting the channel as of late. Just previous week CNN’s map claimed the whole of Ukraine was occupied by Russia – under a title reading “Diplomatic & military crisis.” An earlier CNN attempt at a map placed Ukraine somewhere around Pakistan.

СNN called the incident a technical failure in comments to TASS news agency.

“Due to a failure of a video server during today’s breaking news broadcast, a photo of Vladimir Putin, prepared for our next report, was accidentally shown. We apologize for that mistake,” a channel spokesman told TASS.