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Video does not show attempted terrorist attack in Algeria

July 12, 2019 GMT

CLAIM: Video shows an attempted terrorist attack in Algeria where an airliner on its landing approach narrowly misses a fuel tanker that has pulled into its path.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The clip was taken from a video game and then circulated with false captions, including “Terrorist attack in Algeria, which fails to work because of the pilot’s immense skill.” 

THE FACTS: The video of an A380 Airbus plane coming in for a landing and then lifting back off to narrowly miss the tanker was taken from Grand Theft Auto V. 

The falsely identified scenario taken from the popular action-adventure video game gained traction online after it was tweeted by a Pakistani politician who called the narrow escape by the pilot miraculous. It was then circulated on Twitter and Facebook with false captions suggesting a terrorist attack. 


The original video can be found on YouTube, where it has been viewed more than a million times. In the YouTube clip, the player sets up a fictional scenario of the tanker stopping in front of the plane. The user identified the video as Grand Theft Auto V gameplay.


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: