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February 19, 2018

By Syrian Archive

Six Months On – Medical Facilities Still Under Fire

Introduction In July 2017, the Syrian Archive, in partnership with Syrians for Truth and Justice, Justice for Life, Bellingcat and a flight observation organisation, published a report titled Medical Facilities Under Fire: Systemic Attacks during April 2017 on Idlib Hospitals. Detailed reports of eight hospitals or medical facilities targeted within one month in one province…

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February 14, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

Evidence of the February 4th 2018 Chlorine Attack on Saraqib, Idlib

The following report was created in partnership with Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ). The Arabic version of this report can be read here. Preface On February 4, 2018, Saraqib, located in the southern countryside of Idlib, was hit by a poisonous gas attack, A helicopter affiliated to the Syrian regular forces threw two barrel bombs…

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February 13, 2018

By Wim Zwijnenburg

Sentinels, Saeqehs and Simorghs: An Open Source Survey of Iran’s New Drone in Syria

The complexity of the Syrian conflict reached a new point with renewed attacks on Syrian and alleged Iranian military targets in Syria, the shooting down of an Israeli F-16 by the Syrian Arab Army, and the downing of Iranian drone crossing into Israeli airspace. The latter showed a particularly interesting new detail regarding Iran’s military…

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February 12, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

New Details of the February 1st 2018 Chlorine Attack in Douma, Damascus

The following report was created in partnership with Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ). The Arabic version of this report can be read here. Preface On February 1 2018 Douma city was shelled with poisonous gases for the third consecutive time in less than one month, and according to many testimonies STJ obtained through its network of…

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February 10, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

The Truth Behind the Russian Embassy to the Netherlands’ “Russia’s Strength is in Truth” Branding Proposal

On February 9 2018 the Russian Embassy to the Netherlands tweeted their suggestion for a brand “describing Russia’s position in world affairs”: It’s unclear if this was an attempt at humour, as in world affairs it would be fair to say Russia’s greatest weakness is in truth, as the work of Bellingcat and others has…

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February 10, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

India Conducts Unannounced Air Exercise near Doklam

This article originally appeared on Offiziere.ch Indian Air Force (IAF) rotations of SU-30MKI Flanker continued in 2017/2018 at the Bagdogra Airbase, likely for an unannounced air exercise. Previous commercial imagery acquired in January 2016 also showed a squadron level deployment of the IAF’s advanced fighter. Up to eleven Flanker were observed and nine were still visible by…

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February 9, 2018

By Christiaan Triebert

What Werfalli Did — Haftar’s Commander Continues Executions in Defiance of ICC Arrest Warrant

This article contains violent and disturbing images. Viewer discretion advised. While Mahmoud Werfalli is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the war crime of murder, the commander of the Saiqa Brigade has continued conducting executions in Libya. Bellingcat has extensively discussed and analysed the Werfalli arrest warrant, as it is solely based on evidence…

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February 9, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

Newsweek Engages in Easily Debunkable Syria Chemical Weapon Trutherism with the Help of Ian Wilkie

Following a series of fresh allegations of chemical weapon use in Syria, Newsweek published an article on February 8th, “Now Mattis admits there was no evidence Assad used poison gas on his people” by Ian Wilkie, described as “an international lawyer, U.S. Army veteran and former intelligence community contractor“. The central argument of the article…

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February 5, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

More Details of the January 22nd 2018 Chlorine Attack in Douma, Damascus

The following report was created in partnership with Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ). The Arabic version of this report can be found here. Preface Syrian regular forces continued their military escalation in several towns and cities in the besieged Eastern Ghouta, as they launched the most violent military attacks on those areas using several types…

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February 5, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

Images from the January 22nd 2018 Chlorine Attack in Douma, Damascus

The following images were collected by Syrians for Truth and Justice from Douma, Damascus, showing the remains of munitions used in the January 22nd 2018 chlorine attack.

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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: London March 19th to 23rd Two spots left Berlin April 23rd-27th Two spots left London April 30th – May 4th Amsterdam June…

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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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September 15, 2017

By Justin Seitz

Follow the Bitcoin With Python, BlockExplorer and Webhose.io

This article was originally posted to the AutomatingOSINT.com blog. More and more investigations are being conducted on Tor and many of them can also include investigating Bitcoin transactions. The nature of Bitcoin is such that the transactions themselves are designed to be anonymous but there are many other factors that can dictate whether the owner…

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August 3, 2017

By Eliot Higgins

Upcoming Bellingcat Open Source Investigation Workshops in Amsterdam, London, and Berlin

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 February 19th-23rd NO MORE SPACES AVAILABLE  London March 19th-23rd Berlin April 23rd-27th Participants are required to bring their own laptops, and Google…

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July 31, 2017

By Justin Seitz

Automatically Discover Website Connections Through Tracking Codes

This post was originally posted on the AutomatingOSINT.com blog here.A few years ago Lawrence Alexander published a great piece on finding connections between websites using Google Analytics (among others) codes. Last year I had published a post where I taught you how to automatically mine some of this information using Python, and then how to visualize it. Unfortunately the…

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