Fact Check: 'Illegal Immigrant' In Video Is NOT Azerbaijani Politician Movsum Samadov -- Samadov Says It's Not Him, He Can't Leave Azerbaijan

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: 'Illegal Immigrant' In Video Is NOT Azerbaijani Politician Movsum Samadov -- Samadov Says It's Not Him, He Can't Leave Azerbaijan Not Samadov

Does a video seen on X show Azerbaijani politician Movsum Samadov on the border of the United States? No, that's not true: There is no evidence this man is Samadov or that this took place on the border of the U.S. Samadov denied that he was the man seen in the video when he spoke to Eastern Europe's Radio Liberty on January 30, 2024. Samadov also told Radio Liberty that he is not allowed to leave Azerbaijan.

The claim appeared on X, formerly Twitter, on January 23, 2024 (archived here). It began:

'If you were smart enough you would know who I am, but you are really not smart enough to know ow who I am, but soon you are going to know who I am...'

Now we know who this illegal immigrant is. Movsum Samadov, also know as Movsum Mardan oglu Samadov. He is the chairman of the Islamic Terrorists group Azerbaijani Islamic Party.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-01-30 at 8.23.44 AM.png

Twitter screenshot(Source: X screenshot taken on Tue Jan 30 15:21:40 2024 UTC)

The post includes an 18-second video supposedly showing Samadov saying what was quoted in the caption. The author of this post, Sarah Fields, does not provide any evidence that Samadov is the man seen in the video, or when and where this video was taken. Fields replied to her own tweet by retweeting another post (archived here) claiming that the video took place on a unspecified border with the U.S.:

According to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a bipartisan U.S. federal government commission that monitors the right to religious freedom abroad, according to their About page:

  • Samadov is the head of the Islamic Party of Azerbaijan.
  • He was arrested and charged with several offenses In January 2011, including "preparing terrorism committed with application of fire-arms or subjects used as a weapon" and "illegally purchasing, transferring, selling, storing, transporting, and carrying firearms, accessories, supplies, and explosives committed by organized group."
  • His arrest followed a speech in which "he denounced [Azerbaijani] President Ilham Aliyev over the ban on wearing religious headscarves in schools and other issues facing the country."

USCIRF ends their profile on Samadov by recapping a January 24, 2024, radio interview he did and noting that "he is not allowed to leave the country."

The interview (archived here) was with Azadliq Radiosu (Radio Liberty), a media outlet that broadcasts to "Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East," according to their About Us page. The outlet asked Samadov if he was the man seen in the X video, and he responded (translated by Google) "First of all, that person doesn't look like me." He added:

When you compare, you will see that outwardly there is very little similarity, except for the glasses. Another important issue is that I am banned from leaving the country. I have tried twice to visit, but permission was not granted. Since I cannot leave the country, it is impossible for me to go there.

Other Lead Stories articles on immigration are here. Another Lead Stories fact check involving Azerbaijan is here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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