Sandy Hook Victim Photo Used to Memorialize Pakistani School Massacre

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“We owe it to our coming generations to eliminate this scourge of terror, for once and for all.”.-Pakistani Army Chief of Staff, General Raheel Sharif

Several photographs of children allegedly killed in a December 16, 2014 Taliban attack on the Pakistani Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar include a familiar image of one “Noah Pozner,” the youth who was also purportedly shot to death on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut.

Peshawar school attack victims

[Image Credit:]

The above photo collage appeared at public memorials for the children and circulated thereafter in several foreign media outlets, including the BBC[2]. In the assemblage (bottom center) the Sandy Hook massacre’s Noah Pozner is the Pakistani Army Public School massacre’s “Huzaifa Huxaifa.”

“By the time the hours-long siege at Army Public School and Degree College ended early Tuesday evening,” CNN reported on Wednesday, December 17, “at least 145 people — 132 children, 10 school staff members and three soldiers — were dead, military spokesman Gen. Asim Bajwa said. More than 100 were injured, many with gunshot wounds, according to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani. ‘They started shooting indiscriminately,’ Bajwa said, ‘and that’s where maximum damage was caused.'”[3]

CNN also played a central role in publicizing the Sandy Hook massacre. The emergence and apparent use of the well-known photo to memorialize the December 16 Taliban school attack victims calls into question the authenticity of both events.

The photos of Pozner and Soto also appear on the Pakistani Army Public School Peshawar Massacre Memorial Facebook page, which has received over 18,000 “Likes” as of January 2.


Pakistan’s political and military leaders have seized upon the mid-December incident to force through drastic measures targeting political prisoners and anti-government militants. One day after the massacre event the Pakistani government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cited the event as it lifted a six-year moratorium on capital punishment in a vow “to eliminate terrorists in Pakistan irrespective of whether they targeted it or neighboring Afghanistan or India,” McClatchey News reports. “Officials said those 23 terrorists would be executed within days, and they’re likely to be followed by dozens more hangings at prisons around the country.” Pakistan presently has over 3,000 prisoners on death row.[4]

On December 26 Pakistan’s politicians lifted formal constraints on the army to pursue a two year military campaign against “Islamist terrorists.” “We owe it to our coming generations to eliminate this scourge of terror, for once and for all,” army chief of staff General Raheel Shariftold advised political leaders gathered at the prime minster’s residence. Almost immediately following the December 16 massacre, Shariftold advised “unchallengeable powers for the military to pursue, detain and pass verdict on Islamist militants and their abettors.”[5]


[1] “Tributes to Peshawar Teachers Who ‘Paid With Blood for Sake of Education,'” A World at School, December 19. 2014.

[2] “Busted: BBC Taliban Report Contain’s Sandy Hook’s ‘Noah,'” Jay’s Analysis, January 1, 2015.

[3] Sophia Saifi and Grego Botelho, “In Pakistan School Attack, Taliban Terrorists Kills 145, Mostly Children,” CNN, December 17, 2014.

[4] Tom Hussain, “Pakistan’s Gallows Await 3,000 Convicted Terrorists; First Will Hang Within Days,” McClatchy News, December 18, 2014.

[5] Tom Hussain, “Pakistan Military Wins Free Reign Against Terrorists,” McClatchy News, December 26, 2014.

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About the author:

James F. Tracy was a tenured Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University from 2002 to 2016. He was fired by FAU ostensibly for violating the university's policies imposed on the free speech rights of faculty. Tracy has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the university, with trial set to begin November 27, 2017. Tracy received his PhD from University of Iowa. His work on media history, politics and culture has appeared in a wide variety of academic journals, edited volumes, and alternative news and opinion outlets. Additional information is available at,, and

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