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News:

July 13, 2018

By Christiaan Triebert

Schrödinger’s Strike: Who Hit These Buildings in Raqqa, Syria?

The research was initiated by Jeanne Sanya and conducted collaboratively with Christiaan Triebert. The Russian Ministry of Defence accused the American-led Coalition of bombing a block of civilian buildings in Raqqa, Syria. But a year earlier, the Russians said it was them who targeted leader of the Islamic State in those exact same buildings. What’s…

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July 1, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

Will Get Fooled Again – Seymour Hersh, Die Welt et l’attaque chimique de Khan Cheikhoun

Le 25 juin 2017, le journal allemand Die Welt a publié le dernier article de Seymour Hersh contestant le récit “mainstream” autour de l’attaque chimique de Khan Cheikhoun (Syrie) le 4 avril 2017. L’attaque, où du sarin a été largué contre la population locale par l’armée de l’air syrienne, a conduit le président Trump à…

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July 1, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

All The Pieces Matter – Les bombes au chlore syriennes et l’attaque chimique de Douma

À la suite de l’attaque chimique de Douma du 7 avril 2018, une attention particulière a été accordée à deux sites d’impacts où les restes de bouteilles de gaz jaunes ont été découverts. Alors que l’on a beaucoup commenté l’emplacement de ces bouteilles de gaz, une attention moindre a été portée à l’utilisation historique du…

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June 29, 2018

By Oleksiy Kuzmenko

Ukrainian President Cites Clickbait Ranking in National Address

To highlight the progress that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have made under his command, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has cited a military index created by a clickbait military-themed site without any expert, academic, military or government endorsements. This site, GlobalFirepower.com, ranked Ukraine’s military 29th globally in its “2018 Military Strength Ranking.” In his May 8th…

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June 26, 2018

By Oleksiy Kuzmenko

The Straight-Edge Neo-Nazi Group that Attacked a Ukrainian Roma Camp

According to Ukraine’s Zaxid.net, the recent lethal attack on a Roma camp in Ukraine has been linked by the law enforcement to a popular VKontakte (VK) community called “Sober and Angry Youth” (Твереза та зла молодь Ukrainian, or Трезвая и Злая Молодежь in Russian). The largest page linked to this straight-edge, neo-Nazi group has over 85,000 followers,…

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June 26, 2018

By syriefactuel

Ce à quoi il faudra être attentif dans le prochain rapport de la MEF de l’OIAC sur l’attaque chimique de Douma

AVERTISSEMENT : Deux acronymes récurrents dans cet article ne doivent pas être confondus : la MEF (Mission d’établissement des faits) de l’OIAC et le MEC OIAC-ONU (Mécanisme d’enquête conjoint de l’OIAC et de l’ONU). La MEF de l’OIAC n’identifie pas les responsables des attaques chimiques pour lesquelles elle est déployée. Le MEC OIAC-ONU est un…

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June 24, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Enquête « open source » sur les attaques chimiques présumées à Douma le 7 avril 2018

Le 7 avril 2018, les signalements d’attaques chimiques présumées sur la ville de Douma, dans la poche rebelle de la Ghouta orientale en Syrie, ont commencé à se multiplier. Ils indiquaient qu’un nombre significatif de personnes, y compris des enfants, avaient été tués par ces attaques. Cet article évaluera et vérifiera les informations « open source »…

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June 21, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

What We Know About Hexamine and Syria’s Sarin

After 6 years of chemical attacks in Syria, many details have been gathered about the nature of chemical weapon use in Syria, including the munitions and chemical agents used. With frequent accusations by defenders of the Syrian government that Sarin attacks have been false flags or other attempts at deception by Syrian opposition groups and NGOs, the…

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June 18, 2018

By Wim Zwijnenburg

Fuel to the Fire: Satellite Imagery Captures Burning Oil Tanks Libya

Recent eruptions of violence in Libya’s so-called ‘oil cresent’ between armed forces loyal to Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) and rival  armed groups resulted in another row of burning oil tanks.  In the areas around oil terminals at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, clashes continued for days. As a result of the shelling, various oil…

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June 18, 2018

By Nick Waters

First ISIS, then Iraq, now Israel: IDF Use of Commercial Drones

Over the last two years we have observed large increase in the use of commercial off the shelf drones (COTS) in conflict by both state and non-state actors, whether that be the Islamic State, the Iraqi Federal Police, or the multitude of other users across the world. Recently we have seen Israel join other state-level…

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July 10, 2018

By Noor Nahas

How to Collect Sources from Syria If You Don’t Read Arabic

Information from groups involved in international conflicts has never been as accessible as it is now. Rebel groups run social media accounts, video of missile launches are posted to Twitter, and the production value of propaganda has skyrocketed. For researchers and journalists who do not master the Arabic language, the same problems still exist: how…

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July 9, 2018

By Rao Komar

How to Digitally Verify Combatant Affiliation in Middle East Conflicts

The spread of social media and smartphones throughout the Middle East has created a truly enormous amount of publicly available documentation of conflicts in the region. Whether in the form of videos or photos, from combat footage to potential war crimes — a lot of things are routinely documented and uploaded to various sites like…

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July 8, 2018

By Foeke Postma

After Strava, Polar is Revealing the Homes of Soldiers and Spies

Polar, a fitness app, is revealing the homes and lives of people exercising in secretive locations, such as intelligence agencies, military bases and airfields, nuclear weapons storage sites, and embassies around the world, a joint investigation of Bellingcat and Dutch journalism platform De Correspondent reveals.  In January Nathan Ruser discovered that the fitness app Strava revealed sensitive…

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July 4, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

Getting the Message Out: Coordinating International and Regional Communication in the Syrian Conflict

Tracing the evolution of communication in the Syrian conflict reveals complex networks of coordination. The lack of direct access is at the core of this evolution—for international actors to provide humanitarian and monitoring support, for regional actors to be included in the decision- making process, and for civilians’ concerns and experiences to be considered. Changing…

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June 14, 2018

By Eliot Higgins

New Spaces Available for Amsterdam and London 5 Day Workshops

A small number of new spaces have become available for the following Bellingcat workshops: Amsterdam June 25th – 29th London July 2nd – July 6th London July 9th – July 13th The workshop will be split into two main sections. The first three days will be dedicated to teaching participants a range of open source investigation…

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June 8, 2018

By Aric Toler

Anatomy of a Russian ‘Troll Factory’ News Site

When browsing through stories on the newly-established media outlet USAReally.com, you may think that you are reading a procedural-generated site that exists entirely from search engine optimization tricks, stealing articles from more established outlets and reposting them as if they were original. However, a closer inspection shows that there are no advertisements on the site…

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June 1, 2018

By Aric Toler

Colangelo’s Sock Puppets? Open Source Sleuthing Methods in Recent NBA Scandal

On May 29, The Ringer published an investigation into five Twitter accounts that had apparent links to Bryan Colangelo, the President of Basketball Operations of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. Colangelo has since confirmed that he does operate one of these accounts — @phila1234567 — but is apparently only used for monitoring news, and does not tweet. The…

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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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