By: Soham Shah
June 30 2023
The video shows Egyptian migrants deported by Libyan forces walking toward the Egypt border.
A video showing thousands of people walking along a road as some armed security personnel oversee them has been shared on social media with the claim that it shows "half a million men ready to invade Italy from Libya." Several Facebook users shared the viral video with the caption: "Another half a million men ready to invade Italy from Libya. Gaddafi used to prevent these crossings..."
Some Twitter users also shared the video with the caption, “What if this happened in India? More than 500,000 Islamic Jihadi$t are on their way to capture Europe...The main motive behind this is hijrah, is the expansion of Islam through emigration Hijrah is key method to capture the non IsIamic land (sic).” Hijrah refers to the journey Prophet Mohammad and his followers undertook from Mecca to Medina.
However, the video is being shared with a false claim.
We used the InVID software to extract keyframes from the video and then performed a reverse image search. We came across a report published by Almashhad Alibya (المشهد الليبي) —a Libyan news website. The report was from July 4, 2023, and included a screengrab from the video in question. On translating the Arabic report to English, we found that it stated that Libyan forces had deported over 4,000 illegal migrants on foot to Egypt. It mentioned that social media users had shared the video in question, claiming it showed deported migrants marching toward the Libya-Egypt border. The headline of the report read, “Walking towards the border... Mass deportation of thousands of Egyptians from Libya.”
We also came across several tweets and other news reports on the incident. A report by a multi-lingual website ‘Infomigrants.net,’ published on July 5, 2023, mentioned similar details about the incident as Almashhad Alibya. The report also attached multiple tweets shared with videos of the incident. Twitter user @wady_dynar had shared a longer, higher-quality version of the viral video. The caption of this tweet (translated from Arabic using Google Translate) read, “help Armed forces internal. deportation of the Egyptians.”
A report by Middle East Eye also published a report with similar details about the incident. The report also carried a photo of the crowd marching on the road. The caption of the image read: “Libyan security forces oversee migrants marching over the border with Egypt.” The image has been taken from a slightly different angle but captures the same people seen walking in the viral video, confirming that the report is about the same incident. The photo is attributed to Migrant Rescue Watch, a non-profit blog monitoring NGO activities and rescues. The report also included a quote from the non-profit about the deportation of Egyptian migrants from Libya. It also provided a link to a Reuters report, published on July 5, 2023, describing the deportation of Egyptian migrants by eastern Libyan forces.
A thread of tweets by Migrant Rescue Watch (@rgowans) is also linked in the Middle East Eye report. One of the tweets contains a full-frame video of a large crowd walking on the road. While this video is also taken from a different angle, it shows the same crowd as in the viral video. This video also has a watermark in its top right corner. Using a reverse image search, we found that the watermark is of the Libyan Ministry of Interior logo, further confirming the video's location.
Therefore, multiple sources confirm that the video shows migrants being deported from Libya to Egypt by security forces.
We have marked this claim as false as the video shows people being deported from Libya to Egypt. It does not show men on their way to invade Italy from Libya or "Islamic jihadists" on their way to 'capture Europe.'
(Editor's Note: This story has been updated to add another Facebook post that shared the same video with a different caption. The headline has been updated to reflect the same.)