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May 22, 2015

By Ruslan Leviev

Three Graves: Russian Investigation Team Uncovers Spetsnaz Brigade in Ukraine

The following post originally appeared on the LiveJournal of Ruslan Leviev, found in the original Russian here. The translation has been provided by Kirill Mikhailov, as found on his website here. Ruslan Leviev’s investigation team is not a part of Bellingcat, but its findings are in line with many of Bellingcat’s published and ongoing investigative reports…

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May 21, 2015

By Oryx

Islamic State Captures Tadmur (Palmyra) in New Sudden Streak of Offensives

In a surprising new streak of offensives launched at targets in both Iraq in Syria, the Islamic State has managed to capture the ancient city of Palmyra, known today as Tadmur. With the strategically important town of al-Sukhna falling just over a week before, and the Iraqi city of Ramadi just days before Tadmur, it…

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May 21, 2015

By Nathan Patin

Air Rescue in Ramadi: Geolocating Made Easy with Head-Up Display

The strategic Iraqi city of Ramadi has fallen to the Islamic State (IS), bringing the number of provincial capitals under the militant group’s control to three (the others being Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria). IS reportedly used the cover provided by a dust storm to gain a military advantage during the start of their assault…

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May 19, 2015

By Eliot Higgins

Robert Parry Falsely Accuses 60 Minutes Australia of Using Fake MH17 Evidence

This weekend 60 Minutes Australia aired a segment where they investigated the Buk missile launcher that shot down MH17, using information gathered by Bellingcat to follow the route of the Buk through separatist held territory. As with previous investigations by news organisations visiting the locations Bellingcat identified in our earlier MH17 research the 60 Minutes…

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May 18, 2015

By Veli-Pekka Kivimäki

Next Phase in Bellingcat’s Ukraine Vehicle Tracking Project

In early February, Bellingcat launched the Ukraine conflict vehicle tracking project. The initiative got plenty of attention and positive feedback in the early days, and was most recently highlighted by NPR Idea Lab, thanks to Storybench and Silk. We'll speak to @bellingcat about its Ukraine Conflict Vehicle Tracking Project https://t.co/iSB5BBowKF pic.twitter.com/szws9omiE2 — BBC Outside Source…

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May 17, 2015

By Chris Biggers

RAF Akrotiri Deployments Update

Recent imagery acquired by DigitalGlobe during April 2015 confirms ongoing deployments to RAF Akrotiri, the UK’s airbase located in Cyprus. The southeast section of the airfield shows several new arrivals probably supporting Operation Shader, the UK’s anti-ISIS effort. In addition to the CH-47 Chinook and C-130J Super Hercules previously reported, imagery shows the Royal Air Force’s…

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May 13, 2015

By Bellingcat

Tracking the Trailers: Investigation of MH17 Buk’s Russian Convoy

    Now in Russian. The new Bellingcat report, Routes, Destinations, and Involvement of the 2nd and 147th Automobile Battalions in the June and July 2014 Buk Convoys, presents detailed evidence of the involvement of the 2nd and 147th Automobile Battalions in the transport of military equipment through Russia, including the Buk missile launcher filmed and…

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May 10, 2015

By Oryx

Battlefront Syria: Kweres airbase

Kweres airbase, also known as Rasm al-Abboud, Quweires and a host of other names, has reportedly been under heavy pressure by the fighters of the Islamic State since early May 2015, which seek to capture the airbase. A social media censorship imposed by the Islamic State have caused its fighters to refrain from posting any…

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May 9, 2015

By Chris Biggers

INS Vikrant Makes Progress at Cochin Shipyard

New satellite imagery shows that India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier has made significant progress since it was launched in August 2013, helping India inch towards the goal of a two carrier battle group. Imagery acquired by commercial satellite firm DigitalGlobe in February 2015 shows further assembly on INS Vikrant, a 40,000 ton aircraft carrier and India’s soon-to-be…

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May 5, 2015

By Chris Brace

A Short Piece On UK Election Reporting

Over the past few years there has been a concerted effort among the more right leaning media in this country to portray Ed Milliband as a backstabber here and here Indecisive and dithering here someone hypocritical in their views because although a socialist his girlfriend at the time owned a house that had gone up…

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May 22, 2015

By Melissa Hanham

Back of the Envelope on the DPRK’s New SLBM

This article was originally posted on Arms Control Wonk. A lot of people are asking how to take measurements and make 3D models from 2D images. If conditions are juuusst right, SketchUp’s Match Photo technique is the way to go. Unfortunately, in our world, conditions are almost never just right, unless you happen to be…

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May 13, 2015

By Justin Seitz

Automating Photo Retrieval for Geolocating – Part 2:Wikimapia

This was originally posted to AutomatingOSINT.com. Welcome back! To continue our photo retrieval magic, we are going to now incorporate Wikimapia photos. If you remember our first posts on Panoramio, the goal is to automate as much photo retrieval as we can in order to speed up the process of geolocating photographs. Much like Panoramio,…

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May 11, 2015

By Justin Seitz

Automating Photo Retrieval for Geolocating – Part 1 Continued: Panoramio

This post originally appeared on AutomatingOSINT.com. Ok we’re back. After a bit of feedback from readers on the first post and some investigation on my end, we have discovered the following: Panoramio API does not report the correct number of results as an API result. So your script might say that it found 200 images…

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May 8, 2015

By Justin Seitz

Manual Reverse Image Search With Google and TinEye

This blog post was originally posted to AutomatingOSINT.com. Stemming from the recent riots in Baltimore, Eoghan mac Suibhne (Twitter) wrote an interesting piece on image verification. Read it first before carrying on: Baltimore ‘looting’ tweets show importance of quick and easy image checks The moral of this story was that you can use reverse search on…

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May 4, 2015

By Justin Seitz

Automating Photo Retrieval for Geolocating – Part 1: Panoramio

This post was originally published on AutomatingOSINT.com. When geolocating a photograph part of the effort involves looking at photos from various websites (Flickr, Panoramio, Wikimapia) that may lie within the area of interest. We are going to use a previous Bellingcat post (Geolocating Tunisian Jihadists in Raqqah) as a starting point for beginning to automate…

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April 24, 2015

By Melissa Hanham

Metadata: MetaUseful & MetaCreepy

This article was originally posted on Arms Control Wonk. One of the easiest and most useful methods for an open source analyst is to extract metadata from imagery. Metadata is data that is often included with an image, such as the time it was taken, the type of camera that was used, and yes, if…

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April 12, 2015

By Andrew Haggard

Geolocating the Walter Scott Shooting

On April 4, 2015, a police officer named Michael Slager of the North Chaleston Police Department shot and killed Walter Scott as he attempted to flee from the officer. The case has made national headlines in the United States and has been picked up in international media as well. Since the shooting, several major events…

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April 10, 2015

By Melissa Hanham

There’s a Map for That

This article was originally posted on Arms Control Wonk. Many people ask where they can get satellite imagery. Working at a nonprofit, my preferences tend towards the free, but there are some great resources on the cheap too. Why check more than one map? Because: Volkel. Here’s a list of my favorites:

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March 24, 2015

By Bellingcat

Bellingcat at the SKUP Journalism Festival Talking MH17, Ukraine, Russia, and Propaganda

The Norwegian Foundation for a Free and Investigative Press (SKUP, Stiftelsen for en Kritisk og Undersøkende Presse) recently held it’s annual journalism conference in Tonsberg, Norway, and Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins participated in a number of sessions. In this first session, Eliot Higgins talks about Bellingcat’s work on MH17, tracking Russian weapons and artillery attacks…

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March 18, 2015

By Bellingcat

Geolocating the Location Where the Syrian “Caesar” Photographs Were Taken

Bashar al-Assad and his regime are suspected to be behind the disappearance of many thousands of persons in recent years, many of whom are presumed to have been tortured and killed. Following prisoners’ deaths, a team of forensic photographers would be dispatched to document the bodies of the victims of the Assad regime. Defectors have…

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