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January 15, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

The OPCW Douma Leaks Part 1: We Need To Talk About “Alex”

Executive Summary Some reporting of this situation has ignored the context of multiple chemical attacks perpetrated by the Syrian Government. Alex’s complaints are not properly placed in context. Alex’s claims about chemistry are flawed and hugely overstated. A report from toxicologists which appears to support Alex’s claims is inconsistent with known effects of chlorine inhalation….

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January 9, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Video Apparently Showing Flight PS752 Missile Strike Geolocated to Iranian Suburb

On January 9th, a video spread online after it was posted onto a public Telegram channel showing what was apparently a mid-air explosion. The New York Times has contacted the person who filmed the video, received it in high resolution, and confirmed its authenticity. Below, an annotated version of the video created by Jake Godin…

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January 7, 2020

By Eliot Higgins

Bellingcat Receives Machiavelli Award 2019

The Machiavelli Award 2019 has been granted to the investigative journalism collective Bellingcat. That has been announced today by the board of the Machiavelli Foundation. The Machiavelli Award is annually granted for a remarkable achievement in the field of public communication. Bellingcat receives the award because of “its innovative ways of investigative journalism leading to…

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January 2, 2020

By Michael Colborne

Dispatches From Asgardsrei: Ukraine’s Annual Neo-Nazi Music Festival

At one neo-Nazi metal festival in Milan, Italy in April of 2019, cell phones and cameras weren’t allowed inside. But that wasn’t the case in December 2019 in Kyiv, Ukraine, at the annual Asgardsrei event, which is the neo-Nazi black metal music festival that’s made the Ukrainian capital home since 2015. This meant that fans…

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December 20, 2019

By Benjamin Strick

The War Trade: How Italy Sold Armoured Vehicles To Russia + Their Deployment With Syrian Army Militias

These findings were made by Benjamin Strick, Leone Hadavi and Bashar Deeb and are a result of a year-long investigation stemming from the EU Arms Project, an investigative collaboration between Bellingcat and Lighthouse Reports. Special thanks to Francesca Costantini who helped us analyse Italian Government reports.  There is a direct prohibition against supplying arms to…

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December 19, 2019

By Team Ross, Bevensee, and ZC

Transnational White Terror: Exposing Atomwaffen And The Iron March Networks

In collaboration with the Autonomous Disinformation Research Network – @DisinfoResearch On Wednesday, November 6, 2019, leaked data from the defunct neo-Nazi forum, Iron March, emerged online, exposing the personal information of more than 1,200 members, including the locations of their IP addresses and, in some cases, their real names. Already, activists sifting through the database…

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December 17, 2019

By Carlos Gonzales

Two Europol StopChildAbuse Images Geolocated: Part II — Cambodia

In the previous part of this investigation, we showed how a batch of images published by Europol, Group ImageG13, was geolocated to a small coastal village in southwest Madagascar. Based on the evidence discussed, it was determined that ImageG13 was most likely produced between January 2002 and March 2004. Given the number of hotels and…

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December 12, 2019

By Tariq Bhatti

Chlorine’s Unique Fingerprints: The April 7, 2018 Douma Incident Through A Chemistry Lens

The leak of an internal e-mail from an OPCW employee using the pseudonym “Alex” has stirred a controversy over the integrity of the OPCW Fact Finding Mission (FFM) into the April 7, 2018 chemical attack on Douma City. Alex alleges that the evidence collected by the FFM was deliberately manipulated through omission, exaggeration, and misrepresentation…

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December 6, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Identifying The Berlin Bicycle Assassin: Russia’s Murder Franchise (Part 2)

In the previous part of this investigation, we identified the assassin of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili as Vadim Nikolaevich Krasikov, a 54-year old Russian citizen traveling with state-issued false identity papers. Khankoshvilli, an ethnically Chechen Georgian citizen who had fought against Russia in the Second Chechen War and was linked to Georgian military intelligence, was shot and…

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December 5, 2019

By Carlos Gonzales

Two Europol StopChildAbuse Images Geolocated: Part I — Madagascar

Europol is currently in possession of more than 40 million images of child sexual abuse from across the world. In June 2017, it launched a crowdsourcing campaign called Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object. Through this campaign, censored extracts from explicit images are regularly published on their website and members of the public are…

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January 14, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Bellingcat Is Hiring: Editor (Europe-Based, Part-Time)

Who We Are: Bellingcat is an independent international collective of researchers, investigators, and citizen journalists using open source and social media investigations to probe a variety of subjects: crime, conflicts, corruption, secret operations, mis- and disinformation, extremist groups, and much more. We have received multiple awards for our groundbreaking research and publications that shine a…

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January 10, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Bellingcat is Hiring: Data Scientist (Full-Time)

Who we are: Bellingcat is an independent international collective of researchers, investigators and citizen journalists using open source and social media investigation to probe a variety of subjects: crime, conflicts, corruption, secret operations, mis- and disinformation, extremist groups and many others. We have received multiple awards for our groundbreaking research and publications that shine a…

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January 8, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

New Bellingcat Workshops Announced for February – April 2020

Bellingcat will hold a series of workshops in spring 2020, including: Amsterdam: February 17 – 21 (FULL, wait-list available) London: March 2 – 6 (FULL, wait-list available) New York City: March 2 – 6 Berlin: March 30 – April 3 (FULL, wait-list available) Toronto: April 27 – May 1 Please email us at workshops@bellingcat.com with the…

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December 26, 2019

By Aric Toler

Guide To Using Reverse Image Search For Investigations

Reverse image search is one of the most well-known and easiest digital investigative techniques, with two-click functionality of choosing “Search Google for image” in many web browsers. This method has also seen widespread use in popular culture, perhaps most notably in the MTV show Catfish, which exposes people in online relationships who use stolen photographs…

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November 6, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Massive White Supremacist Message Board Leak: How to Access and Interpret the Data

Update: The Internet Archive has removed the SQL leak; however, the information is freely available via a torrent file (download here) or a Magnet link (click here, or copy/paste the link into a torrent client). Today, the entire SQL database from Iron March, a now-defunct neo-Nazi / white supremacist message board, was posted onto the…

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October 31, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

New Bellingcat Workshop Announced for Washington D.C.

Bellingcat will hold a new workshop in Washington D.C. on December 9-13. Our planned workshops for the remainder of 2019 are as follows: London: December 9-13 (Full, with lengthy wait-list) Washington D.C.: December 9-13 (Full, with short wait-list) Please email us at workshops@bellingcat.com with the information requested below if you would like to attend. Name…

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October 22, 2019

By Brenna Smith

Sign Up For CryptOsint Today!

Issue #2: “What does Libra mean for open source investigators?” CryptOsint is a news round-up dedicated to covering who is using blockchain technology and how they’re doing it. Think of it as the intersection between open source investigations and the crypto world. Through CryptOsint, you will discover weekly content that will help you make sense…

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October 15, 2019

By Giancarlo Fiorella

A Beginner’s Guide To Flight Tracking

Flight tracking is an accessible and useful tool for open source investigators. Being able to track the movements of aircraft belonging to powerful individuals and armed forces can add important details to stories, or even uncover entire new narratives. There are several commercial and hobby websites that allow us to do just that. The purpose…

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September 5, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

New Bellingcat Workshop Announced for London

Bellingcat will hold a series of workshops this autumn and winter, including a new workshop in London (December) and two open spaces at a workshop in Washington D.C. in two weeks. If you are interested in being added to the London (October) or Copenhagen waitlists, please let us know. Copenhagen: October 28 – November 1 (Full,…

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September 2, 2019

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

New Bellingcat Workshop Announced for Washington D.C. and London

Bellingcat will hold a series of workshops this autumn and winter, including open spaces at a workshop in Washington D.C. If you are interested in being added to the London or Copenhagen waitlist, please let us know. Washington D.C.: September 16-20 London: October 7-11 (Full, with short wait-list) Copenhagen: October 28 – November 1 (Full, with…

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