Tobago Oil Spill Tug “Solo Creed” Belonged to Panamanian Firm With History of Moving Venezuelan Oil
Bellingcat
by Logan Williams
21h ago
The tugboat behind an ongoing oil spill off the Tobago coast, which has spiralled into a regional environmental crisis, belonged to a director at a network of Panamanian companies with a history of transporting oil from Venezuela, according to documents unearthed by Bellingcat and the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian that have been validated by the Zanzibar Maritime Authority. Open sources, which include port and legal records, also raise questions about whether the now-capsized barge leaking fuel off Tobago, which the tugboat was transporting, was in any condition to carry oil on the open sea. Co ..read more
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Using Open Source Internet Routing Tools to Monitor a Sanctioned Russian Bank
Bellingcat
by Logan Williams
3d ago
An open internet is a cornerstone of civil society, underpinning access to information in peacetime but even more so in times of conflict and under repressive regimes, according to leading experts. Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, over 50 digital and human rights groups including Access Now, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Human Rights Watch jointly explained in a letter to the US Government that restrictions on the internet to Russia or Belarus could “hurt individuals attempting to organise in opposition to the war, report openly and honestly on event ..read more
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Behind a Secretive Global Network of Non-Consensual Deepfake Pornography
Bellingcat
by Kolina Koltai
1w ago
Warning: This article discusses explicit adult content and child sexual abuse material (CSAM) One of the world’s largest online video game marketplaces says it has referred user accounts to legal authorities after a Bellingcat investigation found tokens to create nonconsensual pornographic deepfakes were being surreptitiously sold on the site. Accounts on G2A were being used to collect payments for Clothoff, one of the most popular and controversial nonconsensual pornographic deepfake sites on the internet. Clothoff disguised the sales as if they were for downloadable gaming content. “Security ..read more
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How a Leaking Barge Became an Oil Spill Disaster Off the Tobago Coast
Bellingcat
by Logan Williams
1w ago
Satellite images newly obtained by Bellingcat shed light on how a stranded barge at the centre of a major oil spill ended up aground and leaking oil off the Tobago coast. Bellingcat tracked the vessel, and the tugboat Trinidad and Tobago authorities identified as its seafaring engine, along an ill-fated, five-week journey using satellite imagery and Automatic Identification System location (AIS) data. Included on the trip was a visit to Pozuelo’s Bay, Venezuela while the vessel had gone dark by turning off its AIS transmissions, as first reported by Tanker Trackers, an independent service whic ..read more
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Texas Active Club Leader Blurred His Face But Forgot to Scrub His Socials
Bellingcat
by Steven Monacelli
2w ago
This report was published in partnership with the Texas Observer. The Texas Observer and Bellingcat have identified the leader of a white nationalist group that distributed antisemitic and racist flyers in Weatherford, Mineral Wells, and Eagle Pass, three small Texas cities, over the last year. In an online conversation with the Observer, Rhett Murry Loftis, a 23-year-old resident of Weatherford, admits he leads the Parker County Active Club.  “I’m a fascist, there’s no denying that,” Loftis said in a series of direct messages.  Loftis, a former musician, said he first got active in ..read more
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Identifying the Mystery Vessel at the Site of Trinidad & Tobago’s National Emergency Oil Spill
Bellingcat
by Logan Williams
2w ago
On February 7th, 2024, a mystery vessel began leaking oil and ran aground on a reef off the coast of Tobago, one of the two main islands of the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. The resulting spill has coated beaches, wildlife, and over 80 kilometres of the Caribbean Sea, leading the government to proclaim a “national emergency”. Over a week later, the vessel remains unidentified by authorities. Dive teams and an autonomous submersible have found a name for the vessel — the “Gulfstream” — but have been unable to locate an International Maritime Organization (IMO) registration numbe ..read more
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Open Source in Short: Retracing a UK Street 100 Years On
Bellingcat
by Annique Mossou
3w ago
When an amateur restorer discovered slides showing street scenes from early 20th century Middleton – located near Manchester in the UK- he was keen to find out where exactly they were taken.  With the help of local historians, he was able to track down the location of some of the photos. But is there another way to identify where these historical photos were taken? Using historical Ordnance Survey (OS) maps we were able to independently locate a number of the images. Here’s a quick guide to how we did it.  Historical photo of Middleton, circa 1900s. One of several slides found by an ..read more
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Uncovering Illegal Weapons Trafficking Trends in Latin America Through Open Source Research
Bellingcat
by sean
3w ago
The prevalence of drug trafficking, coupled with emboldened organised crime groups and armed non-state actors with vast financial resources, has turned Latin America and the Caribbean into hotspots for internal conflict and violence in recent years.      According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), eight of the 10 countries with the highest homicide rates in the world were in the region in 2021, which the organisation said directly correlates to the misuse of firearms. Of particular note, criminal and militant entities have capitalised on the wide ..read more
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How A Sailboat Exposed a Dutch Cell of the White Supremacist Active Club Movement
Bellingcat
by Michael Colborne
3w ago
Bellingcat partnered with magazines De Groene Amsterdammer, Knack and Le Vif to investigate Active Clubs and related far-right movements in the Netherlands and Belgium, and worked with volunteers from the Netherlands-based Capitol Terrorist Exposers collective. Read additional stores from this collaboration at De Groene Amsterdammer, Knack and Le Vif. A Dutch affiliate of the white supremacist Active Club movement has in recent months organised alongside the white nationalist behind a plot to expel millions of immigrants discussed by far right German politicians and trained in combat at a pan ..read more
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The Man in the Matching Uniform: Investigating a Rusich Atrocity in Syria
Bellingcat
by Michael Sheldon
1M ago
This investigation contains graphic images and footage as well as references to killing and mutilation that some readers might find distressing. An image analysis by Bellingcat shows an infamous Russian neo-Nazi with ties to the controversial paramilitary Wagner Group may be involved in the staging of a photograph showing a man holding a severed head in Syria. Alexey Milchakov oversaw the far-right Rusich Group, described by experts as a ‘contingent‘ of Wagner, the armed group that staged a rebellion against Russian authorities last year. Rusich has previously been implicated in war crimes in ..read more
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