No, this isn't (see video below) the new clip of Randy Crawford's song 'One Day I'll Fly Away'. Nor is it the new Super-, Spider- or He-Man.
This is exclusive footage of an Al-Qaeda inspired terrorist getting directly hit by a Lebanese army mortar.(If you wanna know why it is a terrorist and NOT a civilian, please click here) But that isn't the end, it is basically the beginning. Immediately after the mortar hits the building, the militant is - literally - catapulted 40 meters into the air. Eventually he falls back to earth and disappears in the smoke of the explosion. This little clip, to me at least, shows the madness of war.
I shot this footage, accidentally, on Tuesday with my little and cheap Sony digital camera while visiting the outskirts of the Nahr al Bared refugee camp, north of the Lebanese city of Tripoli. As I am a print reporter and hardly ever work for TV, I never carry professional camera equipment with me. This said though, I have never heard of a similar scene being caught on camera. If I'm wrong, please let me know.
The Lebanese army and Al-Qaeda inspired terrorists of Fatah al Islam are already engaged in a three month long battle inside the Nahr al Bared refugee camp. This mini-war has, up to now, killed at least 145 Lebanese soldiers and an unknown number of terrorists. Well, as the clip will show you, at least since Tuesday there was one terrorist less.
Before people start to freak out - You can watch this video without getting nightmares. I was standing around 600 meters away (my little camera was, by chance, rolling), so you don't see any details at all. I mean, I had to visit a professional video editor here in Beirut to zoom in on the footage.
In this little clip, I've repeated the same 10 seconds scene a couple of times to make it clear to viewers what is actually happening.
First part is a medium zoom-in version of the original in real time. Lebanese mortar hits a building and out of the plume of smoke, a little human figure is being catapulted into the air. You can hear the shouting of exited Lebanese civilians next to me saying "Lake, lake!" which means "Look, look!". From the place where we were standing, you could see the Flying Terrorist actually pretty clearly. The people next to me had never seen something like this. "Yes, we see the bombing, the shelling and the shooting," a man told me, "But you just never ever see these Fatah al Islam terrorists". Over the weeks, I have been in the outskirts of the camp for a total of more than 100 hours and had only once, for a fraction of a second, seen a militant firing his machine gun from a window. And then suddenly this: A Flying Terrorist.
The second part is the same version but in slow motion, third is with a little red circle around the unlucky militant, fourth and fifth are very much zoomed in (bad quality, the more you zoom in, the worse the quality of the picture gets), sixth part is the original version the way my little Sony captured it. The total length of the whole clip is around 58 seconds.
Although the death of any person is - in theory - never a happy occasion, I can't be that sad about the end of this guy's life. Fatah al Islam is a very dangerous Islamic Doomsday cult. 99.9 percent of Lebanese people hate them and consider the group a total disgrace to Islam. Fatah al Islam members suddenly started beheading Lebanese soldiers on May 20th of this year (I've got a video of two beheaded soldiers - am for sure NOT going to put that on youtube, because it is so disgusting you aren't gonna sleep for a week. Why behead somebody AND pull his eyes out?).
After firing thousands of mortars into the camp, the Lebanese army is clearly getting more and more experienced. This one was spot on. And a lucky shot for this reporter. Because in journalism (especially in war reporting) it rarely happens that you are at the right place, at the right moment.