Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Iran's state TV broadcast a photo of an actor from Zero Dark Thirty to illustrate a claim that the CIA officer that inspired the character had been killed.
the U.S. military confirmed an E-11A surveillance plane crashed in Ghanzi, eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban, who control the region, say several top CIA operatives were killed, and have since denied access to the crash site.
One of those CIA operatives was Michael D'Andrea, state TV said,
according to BBC Monitoring, which first reported the claims made on Iranian TV.
Iranian TV did not provide any evidence for its claim that D'Andrea was killed Monday.
State TV asserts that senior CIA officer Michael D’Andrea – whom it says had a key role in killing Iranian general Qasem Soleimani – was killed in the crash. The image it’s showing is of actor Fredric Lehne who plays a character based on D’Andrea in the movie Zero Dark Thirty pic.twitter.com/u8Ius9TwWq
— BBC Monitoring (@BBCMonitoring) January 28, 2020
But instead of airing a photograph of the real D'Andrea, Iran's Channel One chose to show the face of Fredric Lehne, a U.S. actor who played a character inspired by D'Andrea in the 2012 movie Zero Dark Thirty. The movie is a dramatization of the U.S. assassination of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
It is not know if the choice of photo was an error, or a last resort due to a lack of available photographs of D'Andrea.
A U.S. Bombardier E-11A crashed today in Ghazni province, Afghanistan. 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.
— USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett (@USFOR_A) January 27, 2020
The network also said D'Andrea “had a key role in killing Iranian general Qasem Soleimani,”
according to BBC Monitoring.
The movie details the decade-long hunt for bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
The real D'Andrea is the head of the CIA's activities concerning Iran,
according to The New York Times.
The CIA declined to comment on Iranian TV reports when contacted by Business Insider.
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