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May 16, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

What the OPCW-FFM Report on the Saraqib Chlorine Attack Tells Us About the Douma Chemical Attack

Today’s OPCW-FFM report on the February 4 2018 chemical attack in Saraqib, Idlib, reveals not only information about the Saraqib attack, but also the broader use of chemical weapons in Syria, and additional evidence to support the theory Syrian government forces were behind the April 7 2018 chemical attack in Douma, Damascus. Consistent with Bellingcat’s…

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May 13, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

“We are going to surrender! Stop shooting!”: Reconstructing Óscar Pérez’s Last Hours

This report (Spanish version) was co-researched and authored by Giancarlo Fiorella (@invenezuelablog), author of In Venezuela, and Aliaume Leroy (@Yaolri), member of the Bellingcat Investigation Team. Bellingcat undertook the investigation in collaboration with Forensic Architecture who have constructed a navigable three-dimensional digital platform of El Junquito in which the more than 60 pieces of evidence…

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May 13, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

“¡Nos vamos a entregar! ¡No sigan disparando! “: Reconstruyendo las últimas horas de Óscar Pérez

Este informe (versión inglesa) fue co-investigado y escrito por Giancarlo Fiorella (@invenezuelablog), autor del blog In Venezuela, y Aliaume Leroy (@Yaolri), miembro del Equipo de Investigación de Bellingcat. Bellingcat hizo esta investigación en colaboración con Forensic Architecture, quienes construyeron un modelo digital navegable de tres dimensiones de El Junquito el cual ubica más de 60…

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May 10, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Full Report: Russian Officers and Militants Identified as Perpetrators of the January 2015 Mariupol Artillery Strike

The full investigation can be downloaded here  A collection of intercepted phone conversations that were used as research materials in this investigation can be accessed here Our directory of archived videos of the Mariupol shelling and its aftermath can be accessed here Our map summarizing the estimated trajectories and potential firing sites near Mariupol can be…

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May 7, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Russian Officers and Militants Identified as Perpetrators of the January 2015 Mariupol Artillery Strike

The Bellingcat Investigation Team has determined conclusively that the artillery attack on the Ukrainian town of Mariupol on 24 January 2015, which resulted in at least 30 civilian deaths and over 100 injuries, came from Russia-controlled territory. Bellingcat has also determined that the shelling operation was instructed, directed and supervised by Russian military commanders in…

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May 4, 2018

By Jakub Janovský

Seven Years of War — Documenting Syrian Rebel Use of Anti-Tank Guided Missiles

Written in cooperation with @SCW_Nuggie. Over the course of seven years of war, Syrian rebels have been fighting an army which once had the 6th largest number of tanks in the world. This article will detail the collection of footage of Syrian rebel anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) use and their impact on events during Syrian…

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May 1, 2018

By Keith B. Ward

The Lethality of Chlorine Gas – A Possible Explanation for High Casualties and Deaths Following the April 7, 2018 Attacks in Douma, Syria

A previous report by Eliot Higgins summarized the evidence for at least two yellow gas cylinders being associated with the April 7, 2018 attacks in Douma, Syria. That report discusses the similarities to previous attacks in Syria known to have involved chlorine gas and mentions fatality counts reported from Douma ranging from 43 – 85+….

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April 29, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

All the Pieces Matter – Syria’s Chlorine Bombs and the Douma Chemical Attack

Following the Douma chemical attack on April 7th 2018, much attention has been paid to two impact sites where the remains of yellow gas cylinders were discovered. While much has been made of the position of these gas cylinders, less attention has been paid to the historical use of chlorine as a chemical weapon in…

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April 27, 2018

By Aric Toler

American-Made Bomb Used in Airstrike on Yemen Wedding

On April 22, the Saudi-led coalition carried out multiple airstrikes on a wedding in Yemen’s Hajjah Governorate, with reports of at least 33 dead, including the bride. Reportedly, the majority of casualties were women and children. Survivors of the attack described how the jets continued to circle the bombing site after the attack, preventing first…

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April 18, 2018

By Syrian Archive

Belgium Illegally Shipped 96 Tonnes of Sarin Precursor to Syria

Jeff Deutch from Syrian Archive, additional reporting by Kristof Clerix from Knack Knack and Syrian Archive reveal today that Belgian companies have violated EU sanctions against Syria, according to the summons of an upcoming lawsuit. Based on information found through the UN Comtrade database, freedom of information requests, and confirmed by the Belgian Customs, we…

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May 1, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

Additional London 5 Day Workshop Announced for July and US Workshop News

Due to high demand, Bellingcat will be offering an additional London workshop on the week of July 9th to 13th. In addition, we are currently measuring interest for workshops in Washington, New York, and San Francisco. If you are interested in potentially participating in a 5 day Bellingcat workshop in one of those 3 cities…

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April 19, 2018

By Syrian Archive

Methodology: How we Tracked the Illegal Shipment of Sarin Precursor from Belgium to Syria

On 18 April 2018 Syrian Archive and Knack revealed information that Belgium violated EU sanctions against Syria according to the summons of an upcoming lawsuit. The Belgian customs found that without having requested the appropriate export licenses three Flemish companies have exported 96 tonnes of isopropanol in a concentration of 95% or higher to Syria…

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March 8, 2018

By Dan Kaszeta

Nerve Agents: What are they?

The former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter have been deliberately poisoned, in an apparent act of chemical terrorism.  This  poisoning occurred in Salisbury, in the UK,  on Sunday 4 March 2018. It has recently been disclosed that this particular act involved the use of a “nerve agent”.  Already, there are numerous examples…

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February 22, 2018

By Aric Toler

How to Archive Open Source Materials

Throughout this story, click on any of the images to view in full resolution. When conducting open source investigations, an ever-present issue is how to archive away the materials you are researching. For example, a social media post may be deleted by a user after you publish an investigation, or a video on YouTube showing…

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February 21, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

New Bellingcat Workshops Announced for London and Amsterdam

Bellingcat is holding a series of workshops in Europe in 2018, where participants can learn the tools and methodologies used by Bellingcat in their investigations. Currently 5 day workshops are planned for the following dates: Amsterdam June 25th – 29th FULL London July 2nd – July 6th FULL Participants are required to bring their own laptops, and…

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February 10, 2018

By Thomas Mulder

Dutch Police Social Media Activity Raise Privacy Concerns

Following a Bellingcat workshop, a group of investigative journalists from the Dutch public broadcaster KRO-NCRV spent the last six months investigating social media platforms used by the Dutch National Police Force. After analyzing data and footage from YouTube videos, tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts, we reached the following conclusion: Dutch police are sometimes careless with…

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January 29, 2018

By Aric Toler

How to Use and Interpret Data from Strava’s Activity Map

Recently, the fitness app Strava published a “heatmap” of trillion of data points visualizing the information of users who submitted or synchronized their fitness activity to their servers. This data includes both fitness information recorded directly on the fitness app and data synchronized with the app from a number of physical fitness trackers, such as…

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November 13, 2017

By Christiaan Triebert

Daily Quizzes to Train Your Verification Skills

You can read the original blogpost by Fiete Stegers, on which this article was based, here. Where exactly was a photo on Twitter taken? When was a Facebook video recorded? Is that image fake, or authentic? These are just some of the common questions you can face when verifying social media content. A few months ago, Julia…

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October 27, 2017

By Collin Anderson

Bahamut Revisited, More Cyber Espionage in the Middle East and South Asia

Introduction In June we published on a previously unknown group we named “Bahamut,” a strange campaign of phishing and malware apparently focused on the Middle East and South Asia. In the Bahamut report, we documented a capable actor interested in a diverse set of political, economic, and non-governmental targets, which suggested espionage rather than criminal…

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October 17, 2017

By Aric Toler

How to Conduct Comprehensive Video Collection

Much of Bellingcat’s work requires intense research into particular events, which includes finding every possible photograph, video, and witness account that will help inform our analysis. Perhaps most notably, we exhaustively researched the events surrounding the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) over eastern Ukraine. The photographs and videos taking near the crash…

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