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Category: Case Studies

March 10, 2017

By Wim Zwijnenburg

Water Filtration Plants and Risks of a Chlorine Mass-Casualty Event in Donetsk

Over the last two months, increased shelling in and around industrial sites north of Donetsk have, apart from the direct civilian casualties costs, posed huge public health and environmental risks.  Apart from the wider environmental impacts caused by targeting industrial sites, on several occasions, Russia-backed forces have hit various water treatment stations. These facilities host…

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January 11, 2016

By Eliot Higgins

Misattribution, Verification, ISIS, and Madaya

One frequent issue encountered by anyone working with user generated content is the misattribution of videos and photographs, something that can occur for a number of reasons. With the conflicts in Syria and Iraq many shocking videos and photographs are shared online on a variety of platforms, and it’s very important to anyone interested in…

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December 2, 2015

By Justin Seitz

Automatically Reverse Image Search YouTube Videos

This post originally appeared on the AutomatingOSINT.com blog. Eliot Higgins had an excellent post where he shows how to grab preview images from YouTube videos and use them for verification, or potentially to find additional sites where that video might be shown or linked to. This technique is called reverse image searching which I have covered…

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November 23, 2015

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

How We Found One of the Paris Suicide Bombers on Facebook

On 16 November, three days after the Paris Attacks, the Bellingcat Investigation Team identified the Facebook profile of one of the assailants, Bilal Hadfi. Here is how we did it. In the evening of 13 November, six simultaneous terrorist attacks happened in France’s capital city of Paris. One of these happened in the vicinity of the…

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September 22, 2015

By Eliot Higgins

Geolocating Russian Military Aircraft in Syria

Over the last week there’s been a great deal of interest in the movement of Russian military equipment and troops to Syria, with images published by AllSource Analysis of al-Assad International Airport showing the arrival of military aircraft supporting Russia’s growing presence. Today a photograph was shared on Twitter showing what claimed to be the aircraft visible in…

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August 19, 2015

By Aric Toler

Yachtspotting: OSINT Methods in Navalny’s Corruption Investigation

Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, found himself embroiled in a scandal over his wristwatch, which was prominently displayed during his wedding to former Olympic ice dancer Tatiana Navka. Anti-corruption activist and Kremlin opponent Aleksey Navalny revealed that a watch worn by Peskov was worth upwards of $600,000, despite Peskov’s approximate annual…

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August 7, 2015

By Aric Toler

Shadow of a Doubt: Crowdsourcing Time Verification of the MH17 Missile Launch Photo

While much open source investigation is done through crowd sourcing, the administrator of the MH17 webtalk.ru forum has taken a unique approach: a single-blind poll to collaboratively determine the timing of a photograph. While this experiment does not have the scientific rigor of a pharmaceutical trial, the methodology of administrator “bootblack” is worthwhile of some examination. The…

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