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Far-right smear campaign against Antifa exposed by Bellingcat

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Far-right smear campaign against Antifa exposed by Bellingcat

_82085681_pic.pngBy BBC Trending What's popular and why
  • 6 hours ago




Two images of Anna Friel from a domestic violence campaign. The doctored image, on the left, features an anti-fascist logo and the caption "53% of white women voted for Trump. 53% of white women should look like this"Image copyright Twitter/Womens Aid Image caption Falsified pictures circulating on social media (l) include an image of Anna Friel from a 2007 anti-domestic violence campaign (r)

Far-right activists are using fake Twitter accounts and images of battered women to smear anti-fascist groups in the US, an online investigation has revealed.

The online campaign is using fake Antifa (an umbrella term for anti-fascist protestors) Twitter accounts to claim anti-fascists promote physically abusing women who support US President Donald Trump or white supremacy.

Researcher Eliot Higgins of website Bellingcat found evidence that the campaign is being orchestrated on internet messageboard 4Chan by far-right sympathisers.

One image shows the slogan "53% of white women voted for Trump, 53% of white women should look like this", above a photograph of a woman with a bruised and cut face and an anti-fascist symbol.

The woman pictured is actually British actress Anna Friel and the photograph was taken for a Women's Aid anti-domestic violence campaign in 2007.

The images first started circulating on social media late on 23 August with hashtags #PunchNazis, #MakeRacistsAfraidAgain and #BashTheFash.

Accounts appearing to belong to anti-fascist groups tweeted the memes, calling on activists to physically attack women who voted for Trump.

Image copyright Twitter/Womens Aid Image caption Accounts posing as Antifa groups and Trump supporters using #PunchNazis hashtag

Prominent far-right individuals such as Joseph Paul Watson also retweeted the memes.

Twitter account @RockMountAntifa, claiming to be an anti-fascist group in Utah, tweeted 29 of these images in four hours.

"She said she was right-wing, so I gave her a left hook," one read.

However, the account shows tell-tale signs of being fake: The account was only created this month and its first tweet was on 24 August, while the only tweets posted were the 29 images.

Eliot Higgins, who traced evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria, found evidence the anti-Antifa campaign was organised on 4Chan, which has a reputation for acting as a meeting place for alt-right groups, and runs a "politically incorrect" board with extreme racist and homophobic comments.

Mr Higgins posted a screenshot of a call to action on the message board, which encouraged far-right sympathisers to search online for images of domestic violence, add their own slogan such as "She deserves it for being a Nazi," then post them on social media using pre-determined hashtags.


These images are the same as those being circulated by fake anti-fascist accounts.


The campaign appears to aim to discredit Antifa groups at a time of heightened tension in the United States after 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when protesting against a far-right march in Charlottesville last week.

Following the march, US President Donald Trump accused left-wing groups of being as equally to blame as far-right protestors for the violence, drawing widespread condemnation for equating the two.

Mr Higgins told the BBC the campaign was "pretty clumsy", with obvious signs of being orchestrated.

"Many of the accounts tweeting the images were clearly made in the last ten hours and had very few followers," Mr Higgins explained.

"This was a transparent and quite pathetic attempt, but I wouldn't be surprised if white nationalist groups try to mount more sophisticated attacks in the future."




Who's lying now?





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B/A, if true, then these impersonators should be exposed and called out for their lies and false narratives.


However, this does not discount the countless hours of video documenting the Far Left group ANTIFA as nothing more than a "Fascist" organization that will resort to BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) to intimidate, coerce, or forcefully (through violent actions) silence others who do not agree 100% with their Ideology.



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8 hours ago, Indraman said:

However, this does not discount the countless hours of video documenting the Far Left group ANTIFA as nothing more than a "Fascist" organization that will resort to BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) to intimidate, coerce, or forcefully (through violent actions) silence others who do not agree 100% with their Ideology.


This sounds so much like the folks that resort to TEJTM (The End Justifies The Means). Maybe there is a connection. 

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who's lying now?


Let's see - who is


Self described as a "Site for citizen investigations of current events using open source information". Begun by Eliot Higgins and "8 volunteers" and allegedly funded by a Kickstarter campaign.
Started: 2014
Founder: Eliot Higgins

In its own words:
"By and for citizen investigative journalists..."

Bellingcat is an amateur run, supposedly independent, source of image analyses on controversial images. Its operator, Eliot Higgins has been praised by The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian. However, Robert Parry termed Bellingcat's analysis of satellite photos related to the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 an "amateurish [and] anti-Russian... fraud".[1] Another commentator claimed that Higgins "has constantly been a source of dis/misinformation on Syria and Ukraine."[2]


Background of founder

In Oct 2012, Eliot Higgins was laid off from his job as an administrator at a nonprofit organisation which provided housing for asylum seekers. In Aug 2013, he noticed Twitter reports of a possible chemical-weapons attack in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus.[citation needed] In Nov 2013, Eliot Higgins "confirmed" that Syria had used chemical weapons[3], without noticing that it was not the Syrian government that carried out the attacks[4].


On 15 Jul 2014, Eliot Higgins started Bellingcat for citizen journalism to investigate current events using open source information such as videos, maps and pictures. It was funded by a KickStarter campaign (£50,891 at 13 Sep 2014 from 1,701 contributions)[5]. The Kickstarter funding model is based on a cash-for gifts/favours model: backers "get to choose from a variety of unique rewards offered by the project creator. Rewards vary from project to project ..."[6]

Also of possible note: Kickstarter "Projects can’t mislead people or misrepresent facts, and creators should be candid about what they plan to accomplish"[7]. From the project home page: " will unite citizen investigative journalists to use open source information to report on issues that are being ignored . . . Bellingcat will be an extension of Eliot’s work on the Brown Moses blog. ."[8]

Until the creation of Bellingcat, the Brown Moses blog had not been concerned with events in Ukraine.[9] Another difference is that whereas the Brown Moses blog was non-commercial, Bellingcat is now obviously a commercial venture.

Wikispooks comment

Higgins had stumbled into a potentially profitable (in terms of media exposure and possibly pledged funding) publishing venture. If it clearly wasn't primed to be a mega-publishing opportunity, it nonetheless held the promise of some tempting liaisons with the Spooks for one so young. And so it has turned out, with Higgins very well knowing the expectations of those whose support he depends on. His output has been nothing if not consistent, viz: Consistent with what one would expect from promoters of the Anglo-US-NATO Official Narratives of geo-politics and the War on Terror, but done in a slipshod and blatantly partisan fashion that those who quote him (the Commercially-controlled media) are wary of claiming their own; which is to say in a way which is quotable but can not be made attributable to those who ultimately control the narrative - ie the Spooks.

The Syrian observatory of Human rights serves an analogous purpose.


OR ...


Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat, Who is He? Everything You Need to Know…

This is part of the series, Who’s Who in Ukraine Propaganda (#3) 

Graham Phillips

In 2016, I’ll be returning to my country of the UK, and there’s a man I’d certainly like to meet for an interview. While I was working on the scene from the war in Eliot Higgins 2Donbass, Eliot Higgins, of Bellingcat, was the man sitting on a sofa taking, and manipulating, YouTube videos (including my own) of Donbass, MH17, Syria, using them to disseminate misinformation, lies, to the world.

However, he’s unlikely ever to agree to an interview with me, because, you see, Higgins, from the UK, born 1979, avoids sources who may raise uncomfortable questions much like critics have accused his work of avoiding basis in science, or fact (see below for more on that).

So, who exactly is Eliot Higgins? The man western media fawn over to the extent you may think it’s Eliot’s own mum writing the press, with headlines like ‘Putin’s Fullscreen capture 28022016 123353.bmpMH17 Nemesis‘ and ‘One-Man Intelligence Unit‘ (and that, enthusiastically promoted by the UK government in Ukraine, and not only them – US, Estonian government sources and more, open fans of his work).

Well, this is how a standard Eliot Higgins piece, and they are manifold, begins, in the western press – As rockets fell in Syria Eliot Higgins was asleep at his house 2,300 miles away, in Leicester. He woke a few hours later, roused his toddler daughter, Ela, and padded downstairs to make her porridge.’

That from the Telegraph, March 29th, 2014. Higgins affectionately portrayed as a kind of Winnie the Pooh meets a Beautiful Mind as he goes on to crack the enigma which had eluded the world etc etc.

Here, the Independent from January 18th, 2015 – 

Eliot Higgins 1‘Any of us can pause a YouTube video or find an old friend on Facebook. But only one man has used these simple online tools to expose the world’s darkest secrets. No wonder everyone from the police to Google wants a piece of the blogger from Leicester.’

Newsweek –  from June 2015 – 

‘Sipping a can of beer and devouring french fries in a Brussels hotel room, Eliot Higgins doesn’t look like the type to get involved in armed conflicts. The Englishman has a baby face, slumped shoulders and a soft Midlands accent. But over the past three years, the 36-year-old former administrator and obsessive gamer has spent hundreds of hours scouring the Internet to find out the truth about faraway wars – from the use of chemical weapons in Syria to Russian troops invading Ukraine – all from the comfort of his couch.’

But what if it’s not really like that, at all?

What if the ‘Founder of Bellingcat. Visiting research associate at King’s College London. Nonresident Senior Fellow – New Information Frontiers @AtlanticCouncil.‘ (his own Twitter description), isn’t really that?

Chauncey GardinerWhat if Eliot Higgins is, at best, a latter day Chauncey Gardiner , (pictured, the Peter Sellers character  from film ‘Being There’ who rose to success on the back of mental limitations mistaken for genius)? Or what if it’s even worse – what if Higgins is actually a liar, a faker, a fraud?

Let’s have a look at a 10 Higgins bullet-points –

Higgins is from Leicester in the UK, born in 1979, He never finished college, dropping out of the Southampton Institute of Higher Education. When asked for interview what he studied at university, his answer was , “Media . . . I think.”

He once worked as payments officer at a women’s underwear company. (“I’m more interested in lingerie than asylum seekers,”)In 2012, the hardcore online gamer (a World of Warcraft addict), Higgins was laid off from his job as an administrator at a non-profit providing housing for asylum seekers, turns to blogging, under the pseudonym ‘Brown Moses‘, from a Frank Zappa track.

Сredited, by some, with uncovering chemical weapons in Syria in 2013. Whether he actually did this, is the subject of debate (what he is documented as doing is agreeing to suppress information that the rebels had chemical weapons, Eliot Higgins Bellingcatand were behind chemical weapon attacks on Aleppo which had killed civilians). In any case, Higgins’ chemical weapons revelations were enthusiastically disseminated across western media, the US, UN, glowingly endorsed by western governments, but comprehensively debunked by Theodore Postol, a professor in the Science, Technology, and Global Security Working Group at MIT –

It’s clear and unambiguous this munition could not have come from Syrian government-controlled areas as the White House claimed.”

While the western media fell in love with tale of the ‘expert who exposed Syrian chemical weapons from his bedroom‘, other, real, experts (and Higgins has always been completely open about his lack of expertise) were less convinced. Higgins, Postol said,has done a very nice job collecting information on a website. As far as his analysis, it’s so lacking any analytical foundation it’s clear he has no idea what he’s talking about.”

In January 2015, Bellingcat published a report into events in Mariupol, Ukraine, May 9th, 2014, when Ukrainian forces entered the city, opening fire, resulting in a death count given by Ukrainian sources as over 20, but by some sources as high as 100. Bellingcat took the figure down to 13. Despite video of Ukrainian forces opening fire on unarmed civilians, Bellingcat entirely exonerated them, described them as ‘acting with restraint’.

This exoneration of the actions of Ukrainian forces, and others of its kind, has allowed Eliot Higgins MH17western governments to continue their unconditional support for Ukraine, in the war in Donbass, without question.

Through 2015, Higgins’ Bellingcat rises to become one of the key agents in the MH17 investigation, with Higgins himself frequently trumpeting his appearances across the world’s media. This is despite Bellingcat’s frequently being caught out in fabrications – those MH17 videos which formed the bedrock of Bellingcat’s claims, comprehensively debunked here. Then there was the humiliation of Der Spiegel, one of Europe’s largest publications … issuing an apology for using Bellingcat’s work as a reliable source.  German image forensics expert Jens Kriese tore Bellingcat apart here –

‘From the perspective of forensics, the Bellingcat approach is not very robust. The core of what they are doing is based on so-called Error Level Analysis (ELA). The Bellingcatmethod is subjective and not based entirely on science. This is why there is not a single scientific paper that addresses it. Contrary to what Bellingcat claims, Error Level Analysis does not provide clear results.

The conclusion is always based on the perspective of humans, on their interpretation.’This, along with stringent criticism from a range of sources – from the ‘Off-Guardian‘ site -‘Even casual conversation with him reveals the embarrassing truth that his “research”, so lauded in the popular media, consists of entry-level computer skills and an awful lot of smoke-blowing. You or I or literally anyone over the age of seven with internet access could do it. If we thought it was worth while.’

The criticism hasn’t just been limited to text, this German satirical programme did a quite unerring take-off of Higgins –

Higgins is actually becoming rather an internet joke –

These have done the rounds –

Eliot Higgins internet joke Eliot Higgins

And just have a look on Twitter with the search #Bellingcrap

Higgins either vehemently hates, or has been told to hate Russia, and Russia’s president Putin. Have a look at his Twitter timeline, of some 127,000 tweets, and it can read at times like one man trolling an entire country. A stream, a barrage, of anti-Russian tweets, retweets, and Higgins doesn’t even try to hide that he despises Russia, or has been told to – this just from a quick ‘Russia‘ search of his recent tweets, and just a small sampling –Screen CapturesWith this taken into account, what conclusion was Higgins’ Bellingcat ever going to come to, apart from that it was Russia, indeed Putin himself, responsible for the tragic downing of MH17? And for the ‘expert’ on Donbass, Higgins has made his feelings similarly clear –Fullscreen capture 28022016 163501.bmp

Higgins hates RT now, never missing a chance to tear into them. Typical tweet –Fullscreen capture 28022016 145812.bmpBut, he used to be proud of their endorsement – this, from 2013 – a list of media he was happy to advertise his connection to.Screen Captures1So what happened there? I’ve worked for RT, and will say this with all due respect, they are quite modest in the payment they offer. It’s not hard to find channels, and outlets, who pay a lot more.

In the early, Brown Moses, days, Higgins used to make frequent appeals for finances, with support links prominently displayed. However, the current Bellingcat site doesn’t even appear to have a ‘donate’ / ‘support’ option. And Fullscreen capture 28022016 154321.bmpBellingcat has grown to an operation which lists itself as being run by ‘eight volunteers’ but is clearly far in excess of that – a professional website which is updated sometimes with several articles a day, on which extensive research has been expended. But when it’s Bellingcat, all the evidence shows that the research is done to back up a conclusion already arrived at, rather than arrive at a conclusion based on research.

Higgins now works not from home, but from an office, in his hometown of Leicester. So where’s the money coming from for Bellingcat, clearly now an operation requiring considerable financial support?That’s unclear, Higgins has yet to publish any record of where the finance comes from, all the ‘About‘ section of the Bellingcat site says is -‘Bellingcat uses open source and social media investigation to investigate a variety of subjects, from Mexican drug lords to conflicts being fought across the world. Bellingcat brings together contributors who specialise in open source and social media investigation, and creates guides and case studies so others may learn to do the same.’

For a lot of people, it’s highly convenient that Eliot Higgins is an ‘expert’, and his agency Bellingcat taken seriously. This is a man who, with his agency Bellingcat, will absolutely always back the position of western governments, and powerful western organisations. And they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure Eliot Higgins expert 1he’s taken seriously, lay on all the the trappings, auspices of highbrow, on trend terms like ‘open source investigation’ and ‘error level analysis‘, be sure he’s given awards, plaudits, made a ‘fellow’, ‘expert’, at sympathetic organisations, appears at the right seminars, conferences, everything to apply the sheen of credibility.

When it comes to defending himself from criticism, Eliot is adept at deflecting criticism of himself onto the seemingly ‘too cool to criticise ‘open source investigation’, of which he is a leading practitioner. These tweets, from today, in response to his being told this article would be coming out –

Fullscreen capture 28022016 144044.bmpFullscreen capture 28022016 144338.bmp

Yet, what if behind the new, buzz ‘open source’ investigation of Higgins lies just plain old falsification?

This recent, absolutely comprehensive, article makes the point, one yet to have penetrated the public perception of ‘open source Fullscreen capture 28022016 152434.bmp
investigation’, that all this new jazz can be used as the respectable front for one of the oldest scams, falsification – see this tweet on the theme.

Creating social media accounts to post misinformation, free of all the source checks, verification of other sources as this is ‘citizen journalism’ and all things cool, which can’t be questioned because a lot of people don’t really know what they are. This, then passed off, and on, into Bellingcat, and up it goes higher into the food chain of mass media, unquestioned, unchecked.

So you can see why a lot of people really have an interest in making Eliot Higgins out to be an authority, a Fullscreen capture 28022016 153608.bmpreputed source, an expert. Have a look at his profile on the Atlantic Council site, an agency funded by governments across the world (25, no less), to promote their position under the guise of being a ‘think tank’. Higgins now works with them, and they call him ‘

Eliot Higgins – Nonresident Senior Fellow, New Information Frontiers, Future Europe Initiative, Expertise Topics, Digital Forensic Research and Open Source Intelligence.’

There’s a real convenience about Higgins. He’s positioned himself as one of the foremost exponents of the still-being-defined ‘open source’. Higgins himself has shaped and defined what we currently know as ‘open source investigation’. And he’s made one of the tenets of it never, ever, needing to go to the place in question.

Eliot Higgins expert

Higgins has never been near the MH17 site, Syria, or anywhere else on where he’s an apparent ‘expert’. Higgins may not go to any of the places he ‘investigates’, but he does travel the world being an ‘expert’ at various conferences, receiving awards – all of these used (and used by Higgins himself, who doesn’t shy from self-promotion , making extensive mention on Twitter of his own participation at conferences, using a photo from such for his profile) to propagate ‘Higgins, the expert.

It’s very handy for some people, having a guy who doesn’t need to be sent anywhere, who, from his sofa, can quickly come up with the conclusions so beloved of western press, and governments. He’s also clearly a hard worker, dogmatic, persistent, the man who used to spend endless hours gaming now happy to spend that time on Bellingcat ‘investigations’. Higgins took part in the official  MH17 investigation, and even boasted about knowing the result of the MH17 report before it was released – so sure was he, he even challenged me to a bet over it (I declined).

So, make your own mind up.

Who is Eliot Higgins, and Bellingcat, really? Are they indeed the experts the western media would have us believe? Or are we

Eliot Higgins Bellingcrapbeing stitched up by a man either of limited abilities plunged into the limelight, making the most of all that goes with it – fawning western media write ‘He often doesn’t finish sentences, as if his mind is racing elsewhere‘ – but could it be, that Higgins is actually rather simply rather a dim man, being used, and fine with that, by higher powers?

Or is Higgins actually an intelligent calculating individual, who has exploited the opportunity to make a name for himself, make a lot of money? One thing about Higgins is sure. He’s a liar. A conman. A charlatan. And whatever associations the name ‘Higgins’ and ‘Bellingcat’ have now, the future can surely only be these names associated with fabrication, fraud, a scam. All that will be debated, is whether Higgins is a latter-day Donald Crowhurst, a hapless man forced into a web of deceit, or a Bernie Madoff, who knew just what he was doing all along.

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On 8/24/2017 at 10:21 PM, Indraman said:

B/A, if true, then these impersonators should be exposed and called out for their lies and false narratives.


However, this does not discount the countless hours of video documenting the Far Left group ANTIFA as nothing more than a "Fascist" organization that will resort to BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) to intimidate, coerce, or forcefully (through violent actions) silence others who do not agree 100% with their Ideology.




Proof of violence by the Leftist Anarchist groups :




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On 8/24/2017 at 9:21 PM, Indraman said:

B/A, if true, then these impersonators should be exposed and called out for their lies and false narratives.


However, this does not discount the countless hours of video documenting the Far Left group ANTIFA as nothing more than a "Fascist" organization that will resort to BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) to intimidate, coerce, or forcefully (through violent actions) silence others who do not agree 100% with their Ideology.



This is the nature of the Fascist.  

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On 8/24/2017 at 10:21 PM, Indraman said:

B/A, if true, then these impersonators should be exposed and called out for their lies and false narratives.


However, this does not discount the countless hours of video documenting the Far Left group ANTIFA as nothing more than a "Fascist" organization that will resort to BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) to intimidate, coerce, or forcefully (through violent actions) silence others who do not agree 100% with their Ideology.




And more evidence of violence:



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HAHAHA.. that's right, no one can dare speak ANY truth about the left or it's a hate speech.


Hush everyone with the ability to think for yourself, DON'T YOU DARE take the liberty of our 1st Amendment to point out those damn antifa ARE  modern day Nazis, anyone and everyone who contests that is either too stupid for words, has their head jammed up their rear, or is part of the next wave of progressive democrat's, aka  Nazis, and should be treated as such.


When the rest of you guy point out the lie in this OP and she doesn't bother to listen, you might consider understanding that for whatever reason, she is in fact advocating for complete anarchy.

The only cure left for those mobs of azzholes running around in masks and assaulting innocent people is about 140 grains of lead.

The only good Nazi is a dead Nazi, the antifa are nazi's trying to destroy free speech, and by extension, America, next time you see some of those thugs running around, shoot to kill.

I'm betting once those disturbed bastards see a few of their buddies get taken out, they will suddenly see the light, and grow the hell up.


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