Friday, May 14, 2021

How Bellingcat Was Embraced by the Atlantic Council

This is from the book "We Are Bellingcat" by Eliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat, an investigative website specializing in open-source intelligence:

Maks Czuperski, a young staffer at the Atlantic Council, the influential Washington-based think tank, knew of my work on Syria and Russia, and asked me if Bellingcat would embark on a joint project with them.  This, I realized, could provide the boost that we wanted, showing the powerful figures who circulated around the Atlantic Council that we were more than online amateurs.

Our first collaboration was a major report in May 2015, "Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin's War in Ukraine," about Russia's direct military involvement in eastern Ukraine.  The work made waves, and soon I was traveling the globe explaining these findings and what exactly Bellingcat did.

Two other major Atlantic Council report followed: "Distract Deceive Destroy: Putin at War in Syria" and "Breaking Aleppo," about the Assad regime's devastation of the city.  Another consequence of my period as a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council was our creation of the Digital Forensic Research Lab, today a leading incubator of open-source innovation, with its annual "Digital Sherlock" summit bringing together online sleuths from the around world.


Here is a link to the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRL) and here is the site for DigitalSherlocks

The book also that that Andy Carvin, who is a senior fellow at the DRFL, got nightmares and panic attacks from the work he did and was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).