Iran TV uses ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ screenshot to claim CIA boss was killed in Afghanistan plane crash

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Frederic Lehne in Zero Dark Thirty (2012): Columbia Pictures
Frederic Lehne in Zero Dark Thirty (2012): Columbia Pictures

Iranian TV used ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ screenshot to claim CIA boss was killed in Afghanistan plane crash

State TV in Iran has broadcast a screenshot from the movie Zero Dark Thirty to illustrate a report that a senior CIA officer had been killed in a plane crash.

The photo shows the actor that portrayed a character in the movie based on real life CIA operative Michael D'Andrea.

On Monday, the US military confirmed that a Bombardier E-11A surveillance aircraft had crashed eastern Afghanistan.

The plane came down in Ghazni province, which is controlled by the Taliban, who claim that senior CIA operatives had been killed.

BBC Monitoring picked up reports from Iranian TV network Channel One, claiming that one of the operatives killed was Mr D’Andrea, though no evidence was provided to confirm this.

The TV channel also claimed that Mr D’Andrea played a key role in the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

The news report used an image from the 2012 film showing American actor Frederic Lehne who played a character called The Wolf.

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty is based on the events surrounding the assassination of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

USFOR-A spokesman Colonel Sonny Leggett, tweeted: “While the cause of crash is under investigation, there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.”

The remains of individuals have now been recovered from the crash site. Officials have told Reuters that fewer than five people were onboard the plane.

Lehne has a considerable acting resume, having appeared in many popular television shows, including Homeland, WestWorld, and American Horror Story.

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January 28, 2020

The New York Times reported