The Independent: Eliot Higgins is the British analyst who, from his home in Leicester more than 3,000 miles away, helped expose Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s use of Sarin gas.
The 35-year-old began blogging about the Syrian conflict as a hobby in 2012 under the pseudonym Brown Moses, after leaving a job in admin.
He had never been to Syria and did not speak Arabic. Now, Higgins runs the crowdfunded website Bellingcat, which recently claimed to have uncovered the location of an Islamic State (Isis) training camp using Google Earth; located where James Foley was killed; and spotted the Buk missile launcher which could have downed MH17 inside Russia – all within a month of reaching its funding goal on Kickstarter.
As well as investigations, with Bellingcat, Higgins aims to help educate journalists, activists and researchers about how to geolocate, verify and investigate images and videos that appear on social media. [Continue reading…]