Earlier today, Andrey Karlov (the Russian Ambassador to Turkey) was assassinated during an art exhibition in Ankara. As there were professional photographers and videographers present, multiple images were captured in addition to video documenting the killing and its aftermath.
In this image taken immediately after the shooting, Mevlut Mert Altintas (the assassin) can be seen. Although it can't be seen in this cropped photo, he is standing adjacent to the body of Ambassador Karlov. Altintas was reportedly a 22 year-old off duty (or possibly former) Turkish police officer at the time of the attack.
Note the expression on Altintas' face in the above photograph. Although there is anger present - it's his secondary feeling. The dominant emotion being experienced and thus projected is that of Contempt. On the faces of those committing terrorist acts, the expressions of contempt and/or disgust are present virtually 100% of the time.
In this second, distorted image, taken a few moments before the shooting, the Assassin can be seen. Here there is also contempt being displayed (on the mid-face and mouth) - although here it is being considerably suppressed.
The configuration of his hands is a portion of, and variation of what some law enforcement personnel call "Parade Rest" (and some military, yet the hands tend to be held behind the back in most militaries). Yet if we slice this nonverbal moment even thinner and evaluate the position of his thumbs and correlate this with the indirect gaze of his eyes (along with his previously noted contempt) - we can further conclude this body language cluster is highly consistent with a significantly heightened level of anxiety as well as clandestine planning.
Furthermore, although his feet cannot be seen directly, when we look at the angle of the assassin's legs, it's obvious that they are planted further than his shoulder's width apart. Such a leg-angle/foot-distance display is considerably hyper-alpha and projects the mental state of a person preparing for an intense physical act.
My condolences and prayers to the family of Ambassador Karlov.
Photo credits: Burham Ozbilici
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