by and for citizen investigative journalists

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January 20, 2017

By Bellingcat

New Satellite Imagery Shows Russian Su-24 Jets at the Hmeimim Air Base

Earlier this week, the Russian Ministry of Defense declared that it has withdrawn a flight of Su-24 (Fencer) ground-attack aircrafts from Syria. This declaration came soon after the withdrawal of Russia’s lone aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov. From the Hmeimim Air Base, the Russian base south of Latakia, Russia has conducted thousands sorties against its targets…

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January 11, 2017

By noodleremovernews

RT, Information War, and Billions of Views: Where do the numbers come from?

In September 2015, Alexey Kovalev of Noodle Remover wrote an article in Russian regarding the popularity of RT, in response to a Daily Beast article and the subsequent reaction of RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan. In light of the recent United States Intelligence Community report on Russian influence regarding the 2016 presidential election, we have translated a section…

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January 9, 2017

By Christiaan Triebert

Mapping Mosul’s SVBIED Attacks

This article will be updated during the length of the Mosul operation. Last update: January 10, 2017. Mosul was captured by so-called Islamic State (IS) militants in June 2014. More than two years later, on October 16, 2016, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the start of the operation to recapture the Iraqi city, dubbed…

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January 4, 2017

By Nick Waters

Wadi Barada – What Happened to Damascus’s Water?

On the 23rd of December, the water supply to Damascus was cut off by the Damascus Water Authority after it was alleged to have been contaminated with diesel. This has resulted in over four million people having no regular access to water, and the UN releasing a statement declaring its alarm. There are competing claims as…

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December 22, 2016

By Daniel Romein

Hunting the Berlin Christmas Market Attack Suspect on Social Media

This article was written collaboratively with additional participation of Bellingcat contributors Timmi Allen and Aric Toler. On December 21st, Bellingcat found several Facebook profiles of Anis Amri, the main suspect in the killing of 12 and wounding of 49 people in the December 19th Berlin Christmas market on Breidscheitplatz. The fingerprints and documents of 24-year-old…

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December 21, 2016

By Sean Case

Putin’s Undeclared War: Summer 2014 – Russian Artillery Strikes against Ukraine

Download full report  Скачать полную версию доклада  Click here for a one-minute introductory map tour that gives the main findings and context of this report. The below text is an extract from the full report. The interactive data map underlying all of the findings discussed can be found here. Summary Terms such as civil war…

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December 19, 2016

By Christiaan Triebert

The CL2 Before the Storm — Alleged Chemical Attacks in Aleppo in the Last Months of 2016

Warning: this report contains sensitive images. This article was written collaboratively with Bellingcat contributor Hady Al-Khatib, with additional contributions from Eliot Higgins. Before the Syrian city of Aleppo was almost fully recaptured by Syrian government troops and aligned forces, the opposition-held part of the city witnessed one of the highest number of alleged chemical weapon…

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December 14, 2016

By Nick Waters

Finding Bana – Proving the Existence of a 7-Year-Old Girl in Eastern Aleppo

This article was written collaboratively with Bellingcat contributor Timmi Allen. Bana Alabed is a 7 year-old girl who lives in East Aleppo. Through her broken English and simple messages alternating between fear and hope, she has become a representation of the suffering that children face every day within Syria. She is also a star on Twitter….

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December 14, 2016

By Wim Zwijnenburg

A Recent Decrease of Oil Production in Syria? Overview of Open Source Monitoring of Makeshift Oil Sites in Deir Ez-Zor

Monitoring activities at makeshift oil sites in Syria’s Deir Ez-Zor Governorate through satellite imagery suggests there has been a sharp decrease in production activity in the last half of 2016. There could be various reasons for the drop in oil refining, which could have implications for any future strategy of the Islamic State to gain …

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December 8, 2016

By Jett Goldsmith

How Relevant to Syria is Syria’s Regime?

On October 31, 2016, the Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Şafak reported that Turkey and Russia signed a “landmark agreement” in northern Syria, ostensibly partitioning portions of the provinces of Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Raqqa, Al-Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor to a Turkish-backed assembly of “local elements” and FSA-aligned brigades. This report is unconfirmed by independent sources –…

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December 6, 2016

By Justin Seitz

Vacuuming Image Metadata from the Wayback Machine

This article was originally posted at the AutomatingOSINT.com blog. Not long ago I was intrigued by the Oct282011.com Internet mystery (if you haven’t heard of it check out this podcast). Friends of the Hunchly mailing list and myself embarked on a brief journey to see if we could root out any additional clues or, of…

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November 30, 2016

By Eliot Higgins

There’s No Such Thing as a Good Fake – When Publicity Stunts Go Wrong

The work of open source investigators frequently involves using content shared on social media. The reliability of those sources is something that is always under question, not only by the investigators themselves, but also by those who would try to discredit that type of content as being unreliable. A good open source investigation would not…

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November 12, 2016

By Justin Seitz

Dark Web OSINT Part Four: Using Scikit-Learn to Find Hidden Service Clones

This article was originally posted on the AutomatingOSINT.com blog. Welcome back to the fourth and final instalment in this series. If you haven’t read part one, two or three definitely feel free to go and do so. This will be much shorter than the others The original inspiration for this post was from a @krypti3a blog…

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September 5, 2016

By Aric Toler

How to Uncover Corruption Using Open Source Research

When most people think about open source research, they think about uncovering social media materials of soldiers on the front-lines of the wars in Ukraine and Syria, or geolocating video footage of significant events with Google Earth. While open source materials have led a mini-revolution in how conflicts are reported online, there is another area where there…

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September 1, 2016

By Justin Seitz

Dark Web OSINT With Python Part Three: Visualization

This article was originally published on the AutomatingOSINT.com blog. Welcome back! In this series of blog posts we are wrapping the awesome OnionScan tool and then analyzing the data that falls out of it. If you haven’t read parts one and two in this series then you should go do that first. In this post we…

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August 11, 2016

By Justin Seitz

Dark Web OSINT with Python Part Two: SSH Keys and Shodan

This entry was originally posted on the AutomatingOSINT.com blog. Welcome back good Python soldiers. In Part One of this series we created a wrapper around OnionScan, a fantastic tool created by Sarah Jamie Lewis (@sarajamielewis). If you haven’t read Part One then go do so now. Now that you have a bunch of data (or you…

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July 28, 2016

By Justin Seitz

Dark Web OSINT With Python and OnionScan: Part One

You may have heard of this awesome tool called OnionScan that is used to scan hidden services in the dark web looking for potential data leaks. Recently the project released some cool visualizations and a high level description of what their scanning results looked like. What they didn’t provide is how to actually go about…

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July 14, 2016

By Cameron Colquhoun

A Brief History of Open Source Intelligence

“Even a regimented press will again and again betray their nation’s interests to a painstaking observer”. William Donovan (OSS Director) “Today you are the media, it is your duty to report and keep the hope alive! You are the media, we are one!” Mir Hossein Mousavi (former Iranian Prime Minister) Upstate New York, 1883 is…

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June 2, 2016

By Justin Seitz

Bait and Switch: The Failure of Facebook Advertising – An OSINT Investigation

This article was originally posted on the Hunchly blog on Medium. This story starts with Sidney Crosby. A professional hockey player and Canadian icon. I can neither confirm nor deny that I welled up like a small child at the Hockey Hall of Fame’s “Golden Goal” display (I will never forget that moment). So imagine…

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June 1, 2016

By Justin Seitz

Expanding Skype Forensics with OSINT and Python: IP Addresses

This article was originally published on AutomatingOSINT.com. In the first part of this series we covered how to extract email accounts from SQLite databases and pull additional information from FullContact.com to find social media accounts or other online profiles that are associated with those email addresses. In this post we will apply much the same technique except…

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