Stay up to date with the latest OSINT news from around the world.
This week in open-source intelligence (OSINT) news, the Army takes a stand on information warfare, Europol goes hunting for war crimes and a prominent OSINT practitioner explains why considering a gender perspective is key to understanding terrorist groups’ tactics and methods.
This is the OSINT news of the week:
New European OSINT taskforce investigates war crimes
Europol has announced a new unit with a mission to find and analyze publicly available information (PAI) indicating war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. The new Operational Taskforce (OTF) will be led by the international crimes units of the Dutch Police and German Federal Criminal Police Office, supported by Europol’s Analysis Project Core International Crimes (AP CIC). So far, 14 countries have agreed to assign a dedicated OSINT capacity to the taskforce.
OSINT is an increasingly important part of intelligence gathering in military and cybersecurity spheres. The new OTF plans to scour the internet to identify suspects and their involvement in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide crimes through OSINT, with the goal to bring those responsible to justice.
“Russia stated that its forces were redeploying away from the borders. Quickly this was exposed by the open source community which was able to show that not only were troops still in place, but in fact what was happening was a redeployment of force in order to be able to better execute the invasion plan.”– General Sir Jim Hockenhull, British Army Strategic Command
Gender and terrorism for OSINT practitioners
Gender is a social construct. It influences the way communities organize themselves, impacts people’s access to rights, services and resources, and plays a role in the division of labor and how individuals engage in public and political affairs. Incorporating gender perspectives throughout OSINT cycles helps uncover the gendered dynamics underpinning terrorism.
Prominent OSINT practitioner, Clara Ribeiro Assumpcão, urges analysts to understand how identity-based discrimination, exclusion and marginalization contribute to radicalization processes and the spread of violent extremist and terrorist ideologies. For example, an OSINT investigation into an extremist group’s online recruitment tactics should consider how the messaging might manipulate the concept of masculinity, or how it might specifically target women and girls. Such nuanced analysis provides a more accurate picture of the group’s operations and helps build more effective prevention tactics.
“Many of the good practices in gender mainstreaming in OSINT cycles shared in this Insight could also be applied to the policies and processes of technology companies so that they can better comprehend how violent extremist and terrorist groups manipulate gender norms and identities in their messaging and recruitment tactics on their platforms.”– Clara Ribeiro Assumpcão, Author, PhD candidate at Monash University's Gender, Peace, and Security program
Army publishes highly anticipated new doctrine
The U.S. military is recognizing the prominent role that information plays not only in conflict, but in everyday life. Adversaries have sought to exploit the information realm as a means of undermining U.S. and allied interests without having to confront them in direct military conflict. The newly released doctrinal publication clearly states that Army forces should fight for, defend and fight with information as part of a continuous struggle to gain and exploit advantages above and below the threshold of armed conflict.
The document details five specific information-related activities focused on enhancing military activity, denying enemy efforts at exploiting friendly forces, working to secure and preserve U.S. and partner data, and hindering adversaries’ ability to use data, information, communications or other systems through offensive action within the electromagnetic spectrum, space and cyberspace.
“ADP 3-13, Information, represents an evolution in how Army forces think about the military uses of data and information, emphasizing that everything Army forces do, to include the information and images it creates, generates effects that contribute to or hinder achieving objectives.”– Milford H. Beagle, Jr. Lieutenant General, USA Commanding
Every other week, we collect OSINT news from around the world. We continue to keep a close watch on Russia's war in Ukraine, especially on X (Twitter). We’re also gathering information on cyberthreats, federal intelligence strategies and much more. Find us on X (Twitter) and share the OSINT news you’re keeping up with.
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