The Prague school shooting which happened on December 21st of last year was a shock to me, as it was the first of its kind in my country.
That afternoon I was glued to the news and it soon emerged amid the information chaos that a Telegram channel supposedly belonging to the shooter (EN translation here) was discovered and is circulating on the interwebs. And that it is all written in Russian!
I am a user of Telegram myself and so I immediately checked out the channel while it was still up. And it became immediately clear to me that something doesn't add up.
Why would a 24-year-old Czech student write a Telegram diary in Russian? Almost nobody in his age group speaks the language, let alone writes in it on the level of a native speaker (which was apparently exhibited here). This must be a troll/fake! Or a Russian intelligence psyop. Or something. But wait... the posts in the channel do have original dates! So, if this is fake, how could the author know the shooter's first name (David) and write about planning a school shooting weeks before an actual David shot up his own school? Were they connected? Or it's just a cosmic fluke? What is going on?
But wait, there's more - the first post in the channel was edited 2 hours after the shooter's death! But none of the other posts show the "Edited" label - they appear to be genuinely created weeks/days before the shooting.
So, is somebody hacking or accessing the Telegram backend and backdating posts, to plant false evidence (or create a psyop)? But what would be the purpose of that and why would they be risking someone noticing the inconsistencies, thus undermining trust in the originality of ALL posts on Telegram? That would be a world first, right? "Telegram servers hacked" sounds like big news, at least to me. Surely they wouldn't do this just to plant a narrative about a deranged Czech student who was influcenced by two little-known (at least in these parts), small-scale (relatively speaking) school shootings in Russia? Why would the FSB be shooting themselves in the foot llike that? That would go against basic Russian propaganda (which I assume would normally want you to believe the shooter was influenced by Western school shooters). So was it the Ukrainians then (at this point I'm wilding out, lol)?. Or maybe, just maybe... could it be that the channel did belong to the shooter? Wouldn't that be the more plausible explanation for all of this?
But if it did belong to him, why is it in Russian? There is no public knowledge of David Kozak studying or speaking the language. Does that mean there's maybe a Russian subculture of groups on Telegram (or other networks) of troubled young people that can suck in even foreigners like this Czech guy, and possibly influence their actions? A subculture, which could immerse someone like him so much that he spends god knows how many months/years interacting with it until he's fluent in its language? And if yes, did anyone in those groups know what David Kozak was going to do? Was somebody maybe even guiding him (notice his mention of "instructions" to make the channel private)? And who made the "post-mortem" edit on the first post? Was it maybe someone from the same group?
Questions, questions. Anyway, here's some additional information I've gathered:
- the channel was apparently private before December 21st (at least according to one of the author's posts in the channel) and was then deleted - either by the police who gained access to the shooter's phone or by Telegram admins - during the evening hours of that same day
- I did some testing and found out that if you have a TG channel, you can "delegate" another TG user as "admin" for your channel. That user then has the option to delete or edit posts in the channel. This could maybe explain how the first post could have been edited. Or a cop's hand was clumsy?
- I also found out from my testing that the URL of a public channel can be modified, as well as the name of the channel. So the fact that the channel is called "David Kozák / Давид" and that the public link has the string "Kozak_David" in the URL does not mean anything in itself - these things could simply have been additionally manipulated. However, this does not explain how there are original unedited posts about a "David" going to do a school shooting, weeks before the event happened. I've been asking around if there are documented cases or suspicions of TG posts having been backdated, but I haven't been able to find any such information. And I'm not going to trust the Telegram owners to ask them this sort of question
- just hours after the shooting the Czech police had initially stated the channel WAS his, then in the next days they started backtracking and last I heard they had a "95% confidence" (whatever the fuck that even means) that it wasn't his. But the whole investigation into the shooting won't be closed until at least May and they are not releasing any more info in this regard. The consensus across the media and the general public is that it was "definitely fake", although apparently no one has bothered to look into this deeper or ask the questions that I am asking here (well maybe the police still are...)
What are your thoughts on this damn mystery?