the home of online investigations

December 16, 2018

By Christiaan Triebert

Tracking Italy’s Arms Trade (#ItalianArms)

Italy’s arms industry is growing, and the country has already been one of the world’s biggest arms exporters for years. Since 1990, thousands of arms exports licences have been granted, with some of the biggest customers being Algeria, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. The European Union (EU) has safeguards in place to prevent weapons…

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September 5, 2018

By Nathan Ruser

How to Scrape Interactive Geospatial Data

With few exceptions, everything that appears in your browser can be downloaded and transformed into useable data formats, with many organisations or individuals maintain complex and publicly accessible datasets containing valuable information. Despite being publicly viewable, in many cases the underlying data is not able to be downloaded and further analysed. This guide will focus…

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July 19, 2018

By Rao Komar

كيفية التحقق رقمياً من انتماء العناصر المسلحة في الصراعات في الشرق الاوسط

لقد أدى انتشار وسائل الإعلام الاجتماعي والهواتف الذكية في جميع أنحاء الشرق الأوسط إلى خلق قدر هائل من الوثائق المتاحة للجمهور حول النزاعات في المنطقة. سواء في شكل مقاطع فيديو أو صور و مقاطع من المعارك والاشتباكات إلى جرائم الحرب المحتملة,و يتم توثيق الكثير من هذه الاشياء بشكل روتيني وتحميلها إلى مواقع مختلفة مثل فيس…

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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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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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August 2, 2017

By Christiaan Triebert

In Digital Pursuit of a Suicide Truck: Tracking a Blue Hyundai Porter That Killed over 100 Evacuees in Syria

Summary On April 15, 2017, an explosion rocked a convoy of buses carrying evacuees near Syria’s opposition-held Al-Rashideen leading to more than 100 deaths. The coaches were carrying evacuees from the besieged government-held towns of Fuaa and Kefraya in the Idlib governorate; Initial reports said that the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber. A…

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June 20, 2017

By Rao Komar

The al-Tanf Bombing: How Russia Assisted ISIS by Attacking an US Backed FSA Group with Cluster Bombs

Russia’s intervention in the Syrian Civil War has been controversial to say the least. For instance, Russia has denied bombing hospitals and clinics in rebel held parts of Syria and then blamed the US for the bombings despite evidence to the contrary. Adding to the list of controversies involving the Russian intervention in Syria, in this…

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