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25 Feb
Video has surfaced of Riley Williams, a 22-year-old from Pennsylvania who is facing charges for her part in the US Capitol riot, making a Nazi salute.

New investigation from @IwriteOK…
@IwriteOK Williams ex-partner has alleged to the FBI that she stole Nancy Pelosi’s laptop during the Capitol riot, something she denies.

While Williams has not been charged with that offence, she is facing multiple charges including aiding/abetting others to “embezzle, steal, purloin.”
@IwriteOK Yet several days after Williams was charged in mid-January, an antifascist activist reached out to Bellingcat with a video they believed showed her pledging allegiance to Adolf Hitler.
Read 10 tweets
24 Feb
Threatened by deplatforming, Britain's far-right influencers are increasingly "funneling" their followers to lesser-known and lower moderation social media networks, where they can more easily turn clicks into cash.…
So suggests a database compiled by Bellingcat over three months, which examined 29 far-right figures from the UK across 19 platforms.

As one researcher told us, patchy online moderation sustains an "economy of hate" — allowing far-right views to survive and to thrive.
We found posts promoting racist conspiracy theories. Some were on smaller platforms with known far-right leanings; others were on mainstream platforms which many of us use every day.

And that's the idea. The latter bring new followers, who are then funnelled to the former.
Read 6 tweets
16 Feb
After the publication of the report by @bellingcat, @the_ins_ru & @spiegel showing FSB’s poison squad tailed @vkaramurza before both of his poisonings, he has been subject of renewed tailing - this time by a car we linked to the FSB.
Yesterday, @vkaramurza reported he was tailed throughout Moscow by the same car. Following his decision to switch to public transport, he noticed the same people trailing on the metro as well. He sent us a photo of the car that tailed him.
We tried to search for the car number plate in a number of online sources that almost always return car ownership and registration data. Nothing came back for this car... a very unusual occurrence.
Read 9 tweets
11 Feb
Bellingcat and its investigative partners have established that Russian politician, Vladimir Kara Murza, was followed by a specialist FSB team prior to his suspected poisonings in 2015 and 2017.…
Members of the same FSB team, some of whom have medical and chemical weapons backgrounds, tailed Alexey Navalny before he was poisoned with a Novichok substance in August 2020.
Kara-Murza is a well-known Russian politician, film-maker and an outspoken critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin. The circumstances around his suspected poisonings have long remained a mystery.
Read 31 tweets
10 Feb
Footage from a GoPro found at the scene of a riot in Portland last year appears to show far-right figure, Alan Swinney, preparing for violence at protests and discussing how to raise funds for weapons

New from @shane_burley1 @hungrybowtie and @Iwriteok…
@shane_burley1 @hungrybowtie @IwriteOK Swinney gained widespread notoriety after he was pictured aiming a pistol at left-wing demonstrators at a protest event in Portland on August 22, last year.
@shane_burley1 @hungrybowtie @IwriteOK The 50-year-old is currently in jail awaiting trial on charges that include alleged assault, attempted assault and unlawful use of a weapon at that same August 22 protest. He denies all charges.
Read 10 tweets
9 Feb
On December 30th last year, a rocket attack targeted the Yemeni “unity cabinet” as they arrived at Aden Airport. Along with our partner @yemeniarchive, we examined the open source information from this attack.…
At about 1325 three missiles hit Aden airport.

The first hit the crowded terminal. The second hit the apron, and the third hit a low wall just in front of the terminal. All landed in the 100 meters between the terminal and the plane where the cabinet were.
The cabinet were very lucky: the second missile was a direct hit on the bay closest to the terminal.

Reporting on the ground, as well as the presence of a red carpet at this bay, indicates the plane was due to park there, but diverted due to crowds of well-wishers.
Read 9 tweets
8 Feb
In Dubai, social media stars pose with tigers, lions and cheetahs that can be tracked to a shady network involved in wildlife trade, writes @FoekePostma.…
@FoekePostma Despite the UAE's ban on private ownership and trade of exotic and dangerous wildlife, some seem to end up as pets. Celebrities we could link to this network include a rapper, movie star, business magnate, TV-presenter, model, vlogger, footballer and even a fugitive criminal.
@FoekePostma By comparing these animals' unique patterns of stripes and (whisker) spots, we determined where they may have come from.
Read 7 tweets
3 Feb
On December 8, 2020, over $500,000 worth of bitcoin was donated to several alt-right figures and causes. Some extremists took this donation as evidence that the mysterious “Bitcoin Fairy” had returned.

But crypto experts @brenna__smith spoke to disagree…
@brenna__smith The Bitcoin Fairy is an element of far-right folklore dating back to an anonymous $60,000 bitcoin donation made to the Daily Caller after the now infamous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017.
@brenna__smith Yet like the mysterious creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, the true identity of the Bitcoin Fairy is shrouded in mystery.
Read 7 tweets
29 Jan
Our month-by-month analysis reveals the story of QAnon’s growth, showing how this notorious conspiracy theory has been able to evolve its narratives and adapt to contradictions — potentially allowing it to live on.…
Bellingcat researchers analysed a dataset containing 4,952 so-called “Q drops”, the cryptic messages that are at the heart of the conspiracy theory, from October 2017 to October 2020.
Researchers then split the data into subsets of one to three month intervals and ran a clustering algorithm to group sentences of a similar sentiment (evaluated using the Universal Sentence Encoder). This allowed us to summarise major topics in Q drops for each time period.
Read 7 tweets
27 Jan
Thanks to our crowdsourced effort in finding new research leads from the travel itineraries of the FSB team that poisoned Navalny, we found three new apparent poison victims:…
The first of the victims is Timur Kuashev, a 26-year-old journalist from Nalchik, in the North Caucasus. Kuashev blogged about local politics on Livejournal and was frequently faced with death threats for his work. In particular, he covered a high-profile criminal case from 2005.
Kuashev died in July 2014 after being abducted while walking to the theater. His body was found in a forest over a dozen kilometers from his home the next day.
Read 17 tweets
13 Jan
Thread: We're sorting through videos taken indoors - we assume most/all are inside the Capitol - from the Parler data dump. Apologies if any of these are already well known - each was posted on January 6th on Parler with geodata in DC. We don't know the associated accounts.
Absolutely crazy video here:…
Read 13 tweets
12 Jan
Thank you all for the submissions, help and suggestions for our January 6th work. We're currently bringing together all the videos and images, as well as additional videos and images from Parler, and organising them to map out, in time and space, the events of the day.
This is somewhat time-consuming, but we're hopefully going to have a fully organised dataset sooner rather than later, and we'll be able to use that to have a fuller understanding of how events on the day unfolded.
We'll also be able to examine the movements of any individuals and groups of individuals and hopefully provide more context for their actions, along with other analysis.
Read 5 tweets
10 Jan
We're looking for open source images of the moment when Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick was attacked on January 6th, which eventually led to his death, continuing efforts started by @No_Nazis_Please
We are looking for images of this location, where we currently believe Sicknick was first attacked. These images will help establish the exact timeline of events, and hopefully a clearer picture of what exactly happened.
This image by @SusieQFortineux gives a better sense of the location where this incident took place. With enough images it may be possible to establish a timeline of events that goes back to when the police barricades were passed.
Read 9 tweets
10 Jan
A quick Sunday morning #geolocation challenge. This image was shared on Reddit claiming to show the police officer killed during the events at the Capitol on January 6th. Can anyone find the exact location it was taken?
If we can find the location we can then review the video footage collected to see if it's possible to make a positive identification and discover more footage from around the time he was killed.
We do not know the original source of this image, only that it was posted on Reddit, so there may be a higher quality version from a wire service.
Read 5 tweets
9 Jan
The Washington Post takes a look at the work of Bellingcat, in particular focusing on the sources we used in our recent investigation into the poisoning of @navalny, which exposed the FSB's involvement in the poisoning…
Part one of our Navalny investigation used phone records, flight records, various leaked databases, and other leaked information to show the FSB poisoning team followed Navalny of multiple trips and tried to poison him more than once…
Along with that article we published a piece looking at the sources used in that investigation, including the Russian data market…
Read 7 tweets
8 Jan
Yesterday, we learned that two projects on which we collaborated have been nominated for @FestivalGabo awards in the "Innovation" category #PremioGabo
@FestivalGabo The Miroslava Project, in collaboration with Colectivo 23 de Marzo, @CLIP_AmericaLat, and @FbdnStories, explored the 2017 murder of Miroslava Breach, a journalist killed for her work investigating links between local politicians and drug cartels.…
@FestivalGabo @CLIP_AmericaLat @FbdnStories Together with @Newsy, @cerosetenta and @LigaNoSilencio, we identified the police officer who shot Dilan Cruz, a student killed during a protest in Bogota in 2019.…
Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
Thanks again to everyone who has submitted visual materials from the Capitol attack! You can submit any photos/videos (if you've put the video on a Google Drive/Dropbox, that helps a lot!) here and we'll get to it. We have about 100 backlogged entries now.…
You can see the in-progress spreadsheet here:…
Other efforts to collect visual materials of the Capitol attack include:

The DataHoarder subreddit --…
Read 5 tweets
8 Jan
Ashli Babbitt was shot and later died after she attempted to enter the Speaker's Lobby inside the Capitol on January 6.

We've retraced the shooting as well as Babbitt's ideological journey from Obama voter to MAGA and QAnon…
Babbitt attended the Stop the Steal rally and heard President Trump speak. Afterwards, she joined thousands of people in marching to the Capitol, which she eventually entered.

Open source footage captured some of her movements inside the building prior to the shooting.
She was part of a group that eventually reached the Capitol's second floor. Footage from at least four different sources captured her in a mob that attempted to break through a door into the Speaker's Lounge, which leads into the Hall of the House of Representatives.
Read 9 tweets
7 Jan
A mail server vulnerability has publicly exposed more than a year’s worth of email logs, as well as highlighted security and infrastructure issues, faced by the administrators and maintainers of controversial websites such as 8kun.…
The logs, which were publicly visible before the vulnerability was patched last month, show thousands of email contacts made by 8kun administrators as well as by an address that appears to belong to 8kun owner Jim Watkins.
The logs show that, among other things, Watkins has been in regular contact with a number of QAnon enthusiasts as well as several influencers with large followings in the conspiracy movement.
Read 7 tweets
6 Jan
For those who are able to: please try to scrape and save any videos and livestreams of the Capitol storming and occupation. Just like after Charlottesville in 2017, many of those who are streaming will delete their streams once they realize how incriminating the footage is.
Check out our (clunky and incomplete) archiving effort from the Charlottesville event here for an idea of the type of materials to retain:…
For most every platform, there are sites that can do a basic scrape of a video, including livestreams. Just Google "download [platform] video" and you'll find a site that can do it, though you may have to fight through a lot of ugly ads.
Use Google Drive/Dropbox to save them.
Read 7 tweets
21 Dec 20
In August, @navalny was poisoned by an FSB team with Novichok. Last week, @navalny spoke to one of the FSB officers involved in the operation... for 48 minutes.
Full transcript (in Russian + English), analysis, and everything else you need to know:…
Navalny called Konstantin Kudryavtsev, a military chemist with the FSB who flew to Omsk after the poisoning attempt. He introduced himself as the fictional "Maxim Ustinov", an "aide to [Russian security council head] Patrushev", taking a report on the failed operation.
In order to get Kudryavtsev to pick up the phone, Navalny used a spoofing app that made his number appear to be that of an FSB landline that was frequently called throughout the operation by many members of the team.
Read 12 tweets