An image circulating online compares a photo of Mark Barden, father of seven-year-old victim Daniel Barden, to one of an unnamed FBI agent, photographed during the response to the shooting on December 14th, 2012.
While there is no context provided within the image itself (it only includes the word “Xatisis”, which is likely just the alias of the person who created it), the implication is that they are the same person. This idea of “dual roles” is extremely common in “false flag” conspiracies and similar claims have been made about David Wheeler, Dr. H. Wayne Carver, the child victims, and more.
Here is the image in question:
On the left is a low-resolution screenshot of Mark Barden. The source appears to be this MSNBC interview with Mark and Nicole Hockley. On the right is a slightly blurry, washed out photo of one of the dozen FBI agents that responded to the shooting. A significantly higher quality version of that photo is a little more difficult to find. This one, from “Splash News”, represents a modest improvement:
Having personally pored over overs hundreds of photos from the scene that day, I immediately recognized this man as the agent seen here:
Armed with higher-quality photos, let’s do another side-by-side comparison:
Based on the above photo, it seems obvious that this is not Mark Barden as these men have visibly different chins, lips, and eyes. Additionally, I was able to positively identify this agent (and further prove that it is not Mr. Barden) by following some of the same steps that I used in debunking the David Wheeler claim.
The very first thing I did is revisit this list of law enforcement officers, dispatchers and psychiatrists honored for their help in the aftermath of the shooting. From there, I narrowed that list down to the thirteen listed FBI personnel and began searching for photos of each one.
Not surprisingly, most of these agents have very small online footprints, if any. I imagine this is strongly recommended, if not required, by their employer. Luckily, some of them did at least have LinkedIn profiles, most of which included photos. As I made my way down the list, I noticed that one such photo looked awfully familiar:
That’s the public LinkedIn profile of FBI Special Agent (now FBI Supervisory Special Agent) Ian Kaufmann, who is credited as a member of the “Law Enforcement Support Personnel” in the list discussed earlier. While his current (at least according to LinkedIn) city is listed as Pensacola, Florida, his “Experience” shows that he was based in New Haven, Connecticut from October, 2007 to December, 2014. And while that certainly looks like a match to me, I’d be a lot happier with some additional photos for further corroboration. Luckily I didn’t have to look too far to find some.
On June 20th, 2019, the Facebook page belonging to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office posted about a small ceremony in which six of their personnel were recognized by the FBI for their assistance in taking down a nationwide ATM skimming and fraud operation the previous year. The full post reads:
Six Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office personnel were recognized by the FBI for their role in assisting the FBI in taking down a nationwide ATM skimming and fraud operation last year.
Certificates of appreciation signed by FBI Director Christopher Wray were presented today to Deputy Ethan Elsasser, Investigators Nicholas Grundin, Les Wolthers, Alan Vafides, Mike Kruger, and Sgt. Tom Piaget.
They played a key role in the apprehension and investigation of two Romanians believed to be traveling state to state installing skimming devices on ATM machines. Viorel Naboiu and Florin Bersanu were taken into custody by OCSO deputies May 10th of last year after a traffic stop was conducted on Highway 98. They were charged with use or possession of a scanning/skimming device and defrauding a financial institution.
The FBI’s federal investigation led to large scale racketeering case and prison sentences for both men.
FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sean Ryan from the Jacksonville Office says losses from two of the subjects involved totaled an estimated 1.5 million dollars.
He was accompanied today by Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Ian Kaufmann.
There are three photos accompanying the post, two of which include Agent Kaufmann, confirming that he is not only the same Agent Kaufmann seen on LinkedIn, but that he is the man seen “wearing the FBI vest” at Sandy Hook. Here is a comparison:
It’s clear that these two photos are of the same man: Agent Ian Kauffman, formerly of the New Haven division of the FBI.