The mystery of the Prague school shooting (Dec21 2023) and the shooter's Telegram channel

D

Deleted member 19405

Guest
Not sure if this is the best place to discuss this topic but I need some critical thinkers and the great minds of Metabunk on this one. BTW sorry about my English as I'm not a native speaker. Also sorry if my post is not structured well enough for the MB standards. I'm willing to learn. :)

So, yesterday there was a mass school shooting in Prague that you may have heard about:
https://www.expats.cz/czech-news/ar...ch-square-leaves-multiple-people-dead-injured

The shooter was quickly identified as a 24 year old Czech student David Kozak and his Telegram channel was quckly discovered as well:
https://news.yahoo.com/prague-gunman-shared-mass-shooting-205415074.html

Here is the link to the channel. Some people claim they cannot see it but I believe you need to use the app to access it:
https://t.me/Kozak_David

Now, you can basically read about the contents of that channel in the Yahoo article. Here is the full transcript as per Google translate. The first post, in bold, was edited - more on that below.
David Kozák / David, [9. 12. 2023 20:03]
This will be my diary as I move towards schoolshooting.


What's interesting to me is the following:

- all the posts are written in Russian. Some say the writing is indistinguishable from that of a native speaker. Others say it feels like it's Czech run through Google translator. I cannot possibly judge this as I do not speak the language. The shooter was a Polish history major so there is some chance he dabbled also in Russian history and had learned to write and speak the language. I'm really not sure.

- the channel was created on December 9th 2023, i.e. weeks before the shooting. It has `Kozak_David` in the link URL which is immutable and connects the channel to the name of the shooter.

- the first post of the channel, and only this post, was edited on the day of the shooting at 16:55CET
1703230878572.png
This is 1-2 hours AFTER the shooter was reported dead by the police!
(it is not known what the post said before the edit)

- you cannot JOIN the channel so it is likely that Telegram admins have disabled the option


So, what do the great minds of Metabunk think? Psy-op? Accomplice? Currently, local "experts" are doubting the channel was created by the shooter - the main sticking points being the use of Russian and the "post-mortem" edit. They are basically suggesting a Russian psyop, but at the same time they concede the whole thing is perplexing. Because if we concede a psyop, how did the people behind it know a certain "David Kozak" will shoot up a school?

Many thanks and feel free to ask me further questions. I will answer if possible.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
So, what do the great minds of Metabunk think? Psy-op? Accomplice? Currently, local "experts" are doubting the channel was created by the shooter - the main sticking points being the use of Russian and the "post-mortem" edit.
I think it is not a good idea to signal boost the writing of killers.

This is unlikely to be a psy-op; what would it achieve?

More likely:
• time zone error (are you certain that is a CET time, not UTC?)
• telegram admins edited that post for policy reasons when they locked the channel
• an accomplice is a possibility, but is there evidence of one?

I think many Czechs would still learn Russian as a secondary language in school, and the killer may well have choosen that language for the exposure because more people speak it than Czech.
 
• time zone error (are you certain that is a CET time, not UTC?)
I am no expert but pretty sure the app is looking at the time the post was created/edited and translating the time to my local time zone. So if the post was really edited at 16:55UTC, I would see 17:55. The shooter was first reported dead around 15:30CET, AFAIK.
• telegram admins edited that post for policy reasons when they locked the channel
Could be. But what would be those reasons?
• an accomplice is a possibility, but is there evidence of one?
None, yet.
I think many Czechs would still learn Russian as a secondary language in school, and the killer may well have choosen that language for the exposure because more people speak it than Czech.
I am from here and that's not correct. Russian language was last taught in elementary school in 1990 as far as I know. Barely anyone speaks it, especially in the shooter's age group. And for exposure people will choose English instead, like the gay bar shooter in Bratislava in 2022.
 
deleting hate speech, for example

the shooter's mother is alive and might have access to his account.
somebody might have used the killer's phone after he died.
Deleting hate speech? On Telegram? :D
If anything, they may have deleted something incriminating.
 
https://cs.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Střelba_na_Filozofické_fakultě_Univerzity_Karlovy
https://cs-m-wikipedia-org.translat...ultě_Univerzity_Karlovy?_x_tr_sl=cz&_x_tr_tl=en
Police President Martin Vondrášek mentioned that the attacker was inspired by a recent attack in Russia . Journalists concluded that it was based on the alleged perpetrator's channel on the Telegram social network , whose author referred to the shooting at a gymnasium in Bryansk, Russia . [5] Many media reported on the texts from this channel. However, journalist Ondřej Soukup , dealing with Russia and post-Soviet states, published his conclusion at 18:47 on the X social network after consulting with Russian journalists David Frenkel and Timur Olevsky that this Telegram account was fake. They were led to this by the fact that one post was edited after the death of the perpetrator, and the opinion that the posts were written by a native Russian speaker deeply immersed in the Russian youth context and with spelling mistakes typical of Russian pupils. Soukup's hypothesis is that someone kept a diary with the relevant theme, where he relieved himself, and when he heard about the shooting at FF UK, he renamed the channel after the attacker's name and edited the first post on his channel. [6]
Content from External Source
 
https://cs.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Střelba_na_Filozofické_fakultě_Univerzity_Karlovy
https://cs-m-wikipedia-org.translate.goog/wiki/Střelba_na_Filozofické_fakultě_Univerzity_Karlovy?_x_tr_sl=cz&_x_tr_tl=en
Police President Martin Vondrášek mentioned that the attacker was inspired by a recent attack in Russia . Journalists concluded that it was based on the alleged perpetrator's channel on the Telegram social network , whose author referred to the shooting at a gymnasium in Bryansk, Russia . [5] Many media reported on the texts from this channel. However, journalist Ondřej Soukup , dealing with Russia and post-Soviet states, published his conclusion at 18:47 on the X social network after consulting with Russian journalists David Frenkel and Timur Olevsky that this Telegram account was fake. They were led to this by the fact that one post was edited after the death of the perpetrator, and the opinion that the posts were written by a native Russian speaker deeply immersed in the Russian youth context and with spelling mistakes typical of Russian pupils. Soukup's hypothesis is that someone kept a diary with the relevant theme, where he relieved himself, and when he heard about the shooting at FF UK, he renamed the channel after the attacker's name and edited the first post on his channel. [6]
Content from External Source

that this Telegram account was fake.
Yeah, these are the "experts" I was referring to earlier. They somehow forget that you cannot fake the fact that the channel talks about shooting up a school weeks before it happens and has the shooter's name in the URL and in the post's text. How could all this be "faked"? "Someone kept a diary" with posts mentioning David on a channel with David's name in the URL? Welp, could it perhaps be David himself? :D
 
Yes I've done some testing on Telegram. You can rename your channel but the URL remains the same.
Telegram FAQ says otherwise.
Article:

Q: What can administrators do?​

The owner of a channel can broadcast messages, delete any messages, add subscribers (the first 200 only), remove subscribers, change the channel's name, profile image and link, as well as delete the channel completely. The owner can also add and remove administators to help manage the channel.

"change the channel's name, profile image and link"
 
Telegram FAQ says otherwise.
Article:

Q: What can administrators do?​

The owner of a channel can broadcast messages, delete any messages, add subscribers (the first 200 only), remove subscribers, change the channel's name, profile image and link, as well as delete the channel completely. The owner can also add and remove administators to help manage the channel.

"change the channel's name, profile image and link"
OK you are right. I managed to find that setting.

So the URL is mutable. Still does not explain how someone other than David could have decided two weeks ago to "keep a diary" chronicling how a "David" was going to shoot up a school.
 
you can schedule messages to post at a later time on Telegram

Article:
Open the Telegram app on your phone.
Head to the conversation where you want to send a scheduled message.
Type in your message, and long-press the send button.
Select the “Schedule Message” option, and select the date and time.

Scheduling a message in Telegram
Once you schedule a message, you’ll see a clock icon in your chatbox. If you tap on that, you’ll be able to see all your scheduled messages and edit, reschedule, or delete them if needed.




Source: https://youtu.be/NtZ0MC6yfaE?t=47
 
you can schedule messages to post at a later time on Telegram

Article:
Open the Telegram app on your phone.
Head to the conversation where you want to send a scheduled message.
Type in your message, and long-press the send button.
Select the “Schedule Message” option, and select the date and time.

Scheduling a message in Telegram
Once you schedule a message, you’ll see a clock icon in your chatbox. If you tap on that, you’ll be able to see all your scheduled messages and edit, reschedule, or delete them if needed.




Source: https://youtu.be/NtZ0MC6yfaE?t=47


And? The posts were dated between Dec9 and Dec19. Whether the posting was scheduled or not is kind of irrelevant.
 
And? The messages were posted between Dec9 and Dec19. Whether the posting was scheduled or not is kind of irrelevant.
what are you talking about? your issue is that one post was edited after he was killed. he could have easily scheduled the edit to post at that later time.
 
what are you talking about? your issue is that one post was edited after he was killed. he could have easily scheduled the edit to post at that later time.

Yes you can schedule a post, but can you schedule an EDIT of a post?
 
Yes holding it down works when you're posting. It doesn't work when you're editing.
thanks for checking. there are Telegram bots, but i think its far too early to waste brain cells speculating. We first need the police to verify -or not verify- the account and post IPs and devices match the shooter.
 
Commenting on events like this within the first few days is a waste of time. Within minutes of it hitting the international news people are screaming "False Flag! False Flag" and "They are coming for your guns!", which of course can mean something different depending on where you live. Statements from officials are wrong as often as not, blaming the villain of the day/week/year, and until recently included whispers of "There was a second gunman!"

Instant analysis is rarely accurate.
 
Wow, so a mod just deleted the entire content of the shooter's diary in my OP with the note "diary content not needed"?
 
it's not needed.
I disagree. There were unedited posts in the dirary where the name David is mentioned. We have established you can stealth edit a Telegram channel URL and the channel name, but you cannot stealth edit a Telegram post. So it is important piece of evidence and also it's not like the quoted diary was taking up valuable screen space or anything.
 
So you need that post, perhaps. Not even translated. Not the whole diary.
It's called context. Look, if you are going to remove content from a MB post, at least state the true reason why it was removed. "Not needed" is not good enough, sorry. My introduction was "not needed" either - should the mods remove it as well?
 
see evidence for what it is,
the diary's translation is not evidence for your claim. It is "not needed".

hide behind contraversial WHO "recommendations".
As mentioned, similar recommendations are made by several organisations, and obviously the author of the article I'm quoting. My web search did not suggest that they are controversial among experts; can you support your claim that they are?


Are WHO guidelines part of the forum's code of conduct now?
You haven't looked at it?
https://www.metabunk.org/help/terms/
You agree to not use the Service to submit or link to any Content which is defamatory, abusive, hateful, threatening, spam or spam-like, likely to offend, contains adult or objectionable content, contains personal information of others, risks copyright infringement, encourages unlawful activity, or otherwise violates any laws.
Content from External Source

Edit: You failed to address my points. That makes it look that you agree that publishing the diary glorifies violence and encourages copycats, but you want to do it anyway (and the moderators don't). (Please note that by forum rules, any claims you are now tempted to make should be supported by evidence.)
 
Last edited:
the diary's translation is not evidence for your claim. It is "not needed".


As mentioned, similar recommendations are made by several organisations, and obviously the author of the article I'm quoting. My web search did not suggest that they are controversial among experts; can you support your claim that they are?



You haven't looked at it?
https://www.metabunk.org/help/terms/
You agree to not use the Service to submit or link to any Content which is defamatory, abusive, hateful, threatening, spam or spam-like, likely to offend, contains adult or objectionable content, contains personal information of others, risks copyright infringement, encourages unlawful activity, or otherwise violates any laws.
Content from External Source

So I'm confused now. Is it "not needed", or is it "defamatory, abusive, hateful, threatening, spam or spam-like, likely to offend, contains adult or objectionable content"? And if the latter, which part, specifically?
 
Edit: You failed to address my points. That makes it look that you agree that publishing the diary glorifies violence and encourages copycats, but you want to do it anyway (and the moderators don't). (Please note that by forum rules, any claims you are now tempted to make should be supported by evidence.)
I already explained to you why I believe the content was needed for the purpose of this investigation. I also do not agree that me posting this particular content in any way shape or form amounted to "glorifying violence and encouraging copycats". If the mods thought that, surely they would state that as the reason for the deletion, instead of "not needed"?
 
Not sure if this is the best place to discuss this topic but I need some critical thinkers and the great minds of Metabunk on this one. BTW sorry about my English as I'm not a native speaker. Also sorry if my post is not structured well enough for the MB standards. I'm willing to learn. :)

So, yesterday there was a mass school shooting in Prague that you may have heard about:
https://www.expats.cz/czech-news/ar...ch-square-leaves-multiple-people-dead-injured

The shooter was quickly identified as a 24 year old Czech student David Kozak and his Telegram channel was quckly discovered as well:
https://news.yahoo.com/prague-gunman-shared-mass-shooting-205415074.html

Here is the link to the channel. Some people claim they cannot see it but I believe you need to use the app to access it:
https://t.me/Kozak_David

Now, you can basically read about the contents of that channel in the Yahoo article. Here is the full transcript as per Google translate. The first post, in bold, was edited - more on that below.



What's interesting to me is the following:

- all the posts are written in Russian. Some say the writing is indistinguishable from that of a native speaker. Others say it feels like it's Czech run through Google translator. I cannot possibly judge this as I do not speak the language. The shooter was a Polish history major so there is some chance he dabbled also in Russian history and had learned to write and speak the language. I'm really not sure.

- the channel was created on December 9th 2023, i.e. weeks before the shooting. It has `Kozak_David` in the link URL which is immutable and connects the channel to the name of the shooter.

- the first post of the channel, and only this post, was edited on the day of the shooting at 16:55CET
1703230878572.png
This is 1-2 hours AFTER the shooter was reported dead by the police!
(it is not known what the post said before the edit)

- you cannot JOIN the channel so it is likely that Telegram admins have disabled the option


So, what do the great minds of Metabunk think? Psy-op? Accomplice? Currently, local "experts" are doubting the channel was created by the shooter - the main sticking points being the use of Russian and the "post-mortem" edit. They are basically suggesting a Russian psyop, but at the same time they concede the whole thing is perplexing. Because if we concede a psyop, how did the people behind it know a certain "David Kozak" will shoot up a school?

Many thanks and feel free to ask me further questions. I will answer if possible.
i don't get it, if this is a psy-op isn't editing the page AFTER the shooting a bad idea? isn't that exactly the kind of weird messiness you'd want to avoid to not have people just immediately dismiss the whole thing? Is it possible he just...shared the password of the account with someone else? Had it set to something easily guessed? Had a device with his telegram logged in accessed by another person?
This just seems like it has a bunch of very banal potential explanations that are getting ignored in favor of a more exciting but implausible explanation rooted in intrigue of some kind.
 
Had it set to something easily guessed? Had a device with his telegram logged in accessed by another person?

Actually, yesterday I learned you can add another Telegram user as an administrator for your channel. So your explanation sounds likely. Question is, why would that person only edit the first post? Maybe they also deleted a bunch of others? If yes, then they might have been incriminating for them, somehow?
 
Actually, yesterday I learned you can add another Telegram user as an administrator for your channel. So your explanation sounds likely. Question is, why would that person only edit the first post? Maybe they also deleted a bunch of others? If yes, then they might have been incriminating for them, somehow?
maybe, is it even possible to tell given how telegram is built?
 
When a Telegram channel is changed from "private" to "public", is this indicated as edit to the first post?

When a channel is private, never been public, are edits indicated, or not?
 
My introduction was "not needed" either - should the mods remove it as well?

yes, actually. way too many people do that now, it's unnecessary.
ps your claim of evidence should be at the TOP of the Opening post, not way down the bottom. (you're not the only poster who does this)
 
When a Telegram channel is changed from "private" to "public", is this indicated as edit to the first post?
I don't think so. That would be very misleading/confusing.
When a channel is private, never been public, are edits indicated, or not?
Edits are always indicated, as far as I know, regardless of channel type. At least by default. But apparently you can use `edit_hide` in the API, to hide the information that a post was edited, according to this:
https://core.telegram.org/constructor/message
 
Back
Top