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Category: News

April 9, 2018

By Pieter Van Ostaeyen

Separating Facts from Fiction about Belgium’s Oldest Foreign Fighter, Bassam Ayachi

On April 4, 2018 French media reported that the 72 year old Shaykh Bassam Ayachi was arrested in the north of France on March 27. The media portrayed him as “the oldest Belgian Jihadi”, as “the mentor of generations of Belgian Jihadi’s” and above all as “one of the main recruiters for Belgian foreign fighters who left for the war in Syria”. In 2012 Flemish newspaper De Standaard even called him “the personification of radical Islam in our country.” His actual story is a bit more nuanced however, and this brief article aims to separate the fiction from the facts.

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April 2, 2018

By Oleksiy Kuzmenko

The Curious Case of David Jewberg, the Fake Senior Pentagon Russia Analyst

Summary: “Senior Pentagon Russia Analyst LTC David Jewberg” maintained a popular Facebook page and was frequently quoted in Ukrainian and Russian media as a Pentagon insider related to topics concerning Ukraine and Russia. He represented himself as an actual person with the legal name “David Jewberg,” not as a persona or pseudonym. A number of…

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March 31, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

PLAN Vessels Mobilize in South China Sea: A Timeline

Almost fifty People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) vessels were mobilized in the South China Sea not far from Hainan Island, satellite imagery acquired in late March by Planet Labs confirms. Hainan Island is host to China’s strategic base for military operations in the region. Centered amongst the warships was China’s only in-service aircraft carrier, Liaoning…

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March 27, 2018

By Jakub Janovský

Seven Years of War — Documenting Syrian Arab Army’s Armoured Vehicles Losses

Over the course of seven years of war, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has engaged in armed conflict against various opposition forces composed of domestic rebels and foreign volunteers, often equipped with light weapons. Given the sheer amount of open source information available related to these events, it is possible to track the military vehicle…

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March 23, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Soar Dragon UAVs Deploy to Yishuntun Airbase

This article was originally published on New satellite imagery acquired on 04FEB2018 by DigitalGlobe shows that China has deployed the Guizhou Aviation Industry Group (GAIG) Xianglong (Soar Dragon) high altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to Yishuntun airbase in Jilin province. The platform, identified by its unique box wing design and ‘V’ shaped vertical…

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March 15, 2018

By Syrian Archive

Syrian Forces Bombard Eastern Ghouta with Chemical Weapons for the Fourth Consecutive Time since the Beginning of 2018

Despite the repeated warnings by the international community for the Syrian government not to use chemical weapons during the war in Syria, the latter re-attacked al-Shefonia town with chemical weapons on February 25, 2018, which is the fourth consecutive chemical attack since the beginning of 2018 on the besieged Eastern Ghouta – Damascus countryside.

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March 13, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Iran Relocates Radar and Expands UAV Airfield on Qeshm

This article was originally published on Iran continues to upgrade the UAV airfield on the island of Qeshm which sits near the Strait of Hormuz, an important maritime choke-point. Satellite imagery acquired in late 2017 and early 2018 by Planet shows workers widening and lengthening the airfield’s runway. The clearing and leveling activity suggests Iran will…

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March 12, 2018

By Aric Toler

Russian Meddling in North Carolina Politics, or Cialis Spam?

North Carolina congressional candidate Linda Coleman made national headlines last week when her campaign discovered that an old domain used for a previous election — — was hijacked by a Russian. Coleman saw political motives behind the incident, calling the “tampering” an “underhanded and deceptive” move. A number of local and national news articles…

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