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January 23, 2020

By Wim Zwijnenburg

Black Gold Burning: In Search Of South Sudan’s Oil Pollution

Since the discovery of oil in what is now known as South Sudan, bloody conflicts have been waged over control of areas rich with this “black gold.” During Sudan’s second civil war (1983-2005), the oil concession areas in the south became epicentres of conflict and massive human rights abuses. During the war, petrol companies from…

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January 23, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

The OPCW Douma Leaks Part 3: We Need To Talk About A “False Flag” Attack

In its final report, the Fact Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) stated that there are reasonable grounds to believe that on April 7, 2018, chlorine gas was used in an attack on the Syrian city of Douma. Despite that conclusion, claims the chemical attack in Douma were…

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January 22, 2020

By Michael Colborne

Ukraine’s Far Right Is Boosting A Pro-Putin Fascist

Italian neo-fascist Franco Freda has published and promoted books by Nazis, written that “[we] only have accounts to settle with the Jewish or Judaized Europe,” was convicted of trying to resurrect Benito Mussolini’s fascist party, was judged to be partly responsible for a 1969 far-right terrorist attack, and last year said that Russian president Vladimir…

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January 21, 2020

By Giancarlo Fiorella

Geolocating Venezuelan Lawmakers In Europe

One of the newest chapters in the Venezuelan political saga involves a group of National Assembly lawmakers who were named in a report by the investigative news website Armando.Info alongside allegations that said lawmakers were involved in a corruption network. According to an investigation published by the website in December 2019, this group of lawmakers…

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January 19, 2020

By Robert Evans

Richmond Gun Rally: Is A Virginia Cop Giving 4Chan’s /pol Board Inside Info?

On Monday, January 20, the city of Richmond, Virginia will be host to a massive gathering of militias and individual gun owners, protesting against a series of proposed bills in the state legislature. This event started as the annual “Lobby Day” rally for the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) but has quickly gotten out of…

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January 17, 2020

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

The OPCW Douma Leaks Part 2: We Need To Talk About Henderson

Executive Summary Henderson was an employee of the OPCW, but the organisation clearly did not consider him to be part of the FFM. Henderson delivered his report outside of protocol with less than a day before the final FFM report was published. Three independent engineering studies commissioned by the FFM contradict Henderson’s findings. Henderson’s report…

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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. The stated conclusion of a meeting with toxicologists, which appears to support Alex’s claims, is inconsistent with known…

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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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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 (FULL, wait-list available) Berlin: March 30 – April 3 (FULL, wait-list available) Toronto: April 27 – May 1 Please email us…

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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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