Bellingcat presents itself as a group of independent, open source researchers, scraping the Internet for the truth. Are they really? Highly confidential information keeps popping up on their website.
Founder Eliot Higgins and his Bellingcat team have made quite a name for themselves with their investigations into the downing of Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, the alleged chemical attacks in Syria, as well as the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Russia and former intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK.
According to the website Wikispooks, which monitors intelligence services, Bellingcat assists the media in promoting “Anglo-US-NATO narratives” by providing them with quotes the media “are wary of claiming their own” and “can not be made attributable to those who ultimately control the narrative – i.e. the spooks”.
In 2018, the Integrity Initiative, a British Foreign Office-related organisation, identified which organisations could be helpful in combating Russian disinformation. In the process, doubts were raised about Bellingcat. “Bellingcat was somewhat discredited, both by spreading disinformation itself, and by being willing to produce reports for anyone willing to pay”, the Integrity Initiative noted in a confidential document, which was…