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Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth 134

Posted by Soulskill
from the bet-you-wished-you'd-stuck-to-word-of-mouth dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Terrorist organization ISIS has been in the news a lot lately for their hostile activities in Iraq and Syria. They've also been very active online, posting propaganda and photos on various social networking sites to try to recruit more members. Frequently, they'll have pictures of themselves in nondescript locations — but even carefully selected images give clues to a real location. Citizen journalists at Bellingcat analyzed a group of these photos, comparing buildings and bridges in the background to images from Google Earth. With very little to go on, they were able to pinpoint the location of a terrorist training camp.
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Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    they will find their shoes sizes and dentists name in 10 minutes, for the lulz

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sideslash (1865434)
      The one guy had a British accent, so I'm pretty sure no dentist in the picture. /justkiddingcantyoulimeystakeajoke
      • by Anonymous Coward

        They're too busy pining after the Freedom you guys have taught them. You know, basically strip them of their rights and whisk them off for the safety of the nation.

  • by cyberchondriac (456626) on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:40PM (#47733183) Journal
    All I see is a big smoking crater..
    • Re:I'm looking now (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:23PM (#47733411)

      . . . the trouble is . . . the training camp is probably conveniently located right next to a hospital or a school.

      • ...and the citizens are conveniently pretending they don't notice.
        • by Spacelord (27899)

          What do you honestly expect them to do? Have you *seen* the kind of reprisals these assholes take against anyone who opposes them?

    • by flyneye (84093)

      All I see is a nude beach @ Monte Carlo, and you saps are looking for what?

    • by Optali (809880)
      Not big enough: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]
  • by turkeydance (1266624) on Friday August 22, 2014 @05:48PM (#47733245)
    come get us....we can't get to you, yet.
  • Almighty Isis, make my phone pay for my potato chips!

  • There are other 'terrorist organizations' with 'hostile activities in Iraq and Syria', some of them a tad less indigenous than ISIS.
    They aren't in the news much.
    How 'bout they all get the fuck out of there and let the locals decide how they want to run their country?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ISIS has a lot of foreign fighters you moron, they are the one imposing their laws on the locals. But don't let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

    • by gtall (79522)

      As the AC below commented, many of ISIS fighters are foreign nutjobs. And guess where their passports will allow them entry when their work there is done?

  • I'm sure google won't tell anyone about your interests in such things...
    • I'm sure google won't tell anyone about your interests in such things...

      Many thousands of people are interested in such things, only a extremely tine percentage are interested in actually booking a flight to these locations.

      For example: http://www.virtualglobetrottin... [virtualglobetrotting.com]

      Kindly remove your tinfoil hat before the microwave beams cause it to catch fire.

  • As a bonus you can also tell if they are pale Irish or if they have long red hair and boobs.
  • Seem the area has many groups - some friendly to one agenda, others friendly to other agendas. It doesn't seem hard to use areal photos to find *a* camp. But how might they know it's an ISIS camp? (especially considering that a facility may be Local Police one day, and ISIS the next.
  • crowdsourcing and internet slething just worked out so well for IDing the Boston Bombers, right?
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:02PM (#47733617) Journal
    Seriously, after that sawing off a live man's head, I have NO problem with blowing these assholes away. In fact, I would be happy to pull the trigger to launch.

    Now, the real question is, did this interfere with an on-going operation? I would hate to think that showing them how easy it is to find out info from their propaganda would stop its flow.
    • by Nyder (754090)

      Seriously, after that sawing off a live man's head, I have NO problem with blowing these assholes away. In fact, I would be happy to pull the trigger to launch.

      Now, the real question is, did this interfere with an on-going operation? I would hate to think that showing them how easy it is to find out info from their propaganda would stop its flow.

      Did you watch the video? I did and they have another hostage ready to chop his head off. And they taunted Obama at the end, saying it's your move.
      So ya, blow these people up, another journalist loses his head. It's all fair, you know, democracy & thank. Kill them, they kill us, kill them, they kill us, kill them, they kill us, etc....

      Good luck with that plan, because well, it's the same crappy plan that has gotten us into this mess.

      • by gtall (79522)

        Islam has been at war with everyone else from its inception. The West had to do nothing to incur their wrath. In fact, they need the West so they can claim to be victims and prepare their followers to die for Islam...and virgins...don't forget the virgins. Apparently, Heaven is full of them just waiting for a bunch of hairy, smelly jihadis.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Em Adespoton (792954)

          Islam has been at war with everyone else from its inception. The West had to do nothing to incur their wrath. In fact, they need the West so they can claim to be victims and prepare their followers to die for Islam...and virgins...don't forget the virgins. Apparently, Heaven is full of them just waiting for a bunch of hairy, smelly jihadis.

          You do realize that a sizable portion of the world's Muslims live in The West, right?

          I think you're confusing Islam with a particular politically motivated Islamic sect -- kind of like people do with the Crusades, Westboro, calling the US a Christian country that abuses its power, etc.

          It's not that religions are at war with everyone; it's that they can be easily abused for political gain, if care is not taken to prevent this.

          • That is exactly the case. Basically, it is hatred for others, with political or religious leaders blaming others and then wanting to wipe them out.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          As opposed to Christianity, which has never been at war with anyone, and has never glorified martyrdom.

        • Yep, the new warlord desperately wants the US to start bombing Iraqi cities, it's the oldest recruiting method known to man.
      • by Stan92057 (737634)
        What is your plan? Idea? I really would like to hear it. And remember their bible demands the murder of the Infidel there is no well maybe it can be read this way or that way. It black and white demands it. How does one fight against someone following their religion and teaching?
        • by Jeremi (14640)

          And remember their bible demands the murder of the Infidel there is no well maybe it can be read this way or that way. It black and white demands it.

          First of all, [citation needed].

          How does one fight against someone following their religion and teaching?

          Did you know that the Christian Bible also "black and white demands" that anyone caught working on a Sunday be put to death? (citation [biblehub.com]). And yet somehow we don't see a lot of killings of Sabbath-breakers. So most clearly people can distinguish between the applicable and non-applicable parts of their holy texts. (Those who cannot we call "fundamentalists", and they are the problem; not every religious person in the world)

          • by Stan92057 (737634)
            Well were not talking about the Christian or their bible so any reference to it is moot. Were Talking about the Koran and Muslim faith. Christian are not beheading and Murdering in the name of their God at this point in time. Muslims are.

            Citation provided

            http://www.deceptioninthechurc... [deceptioninthechurch.com]
      • by dkf (304284)

        I did and they have another hostage ready to chop his head off.

        The way to deal with these people is to ignore whether they have the second hostage (assume he's already dead, even if that's technically premature) and to bomb the area, preferably with something like white phosphorous incendiaries. It also needs to be done soon, because people regard such actions less favourably when it is longer from the event which the punishment is being meted out for. Make it very clear that once someone starts killing hostages, reprisals will come. If you don't, the next damn terror

        • by jozmala (101511)

          Only way you can hammer it to them its bad idea to simply dip shrapnells to pig blood in when bombing them and declaring that every western hostage they kill the air force will use pig blood in shrapnells for hundred bomb that is deployed against them.

      • Yes, it works so great to instead pacify these ppl and turn the other cheek. Thank God that Churchill continued Chamberlin's approach of pacifying Hitler all during the 30s. And likewise, when we pacified USSR's Stalin, he settled right down. And the same with Mao and Pol Pot. Likewise, when Europe pacified Mladi, it never lead to horrible results.
    • Two things:

      1.) Photographs are images frozen in time. A little bit later, things change. Try it. Go outside with your phone and take a picture. Wait until after Family Feud. Go outside and look at the same scene and the picture on the phone. Notice the the cat is gone now.

      2.) "I would hate to think that showing them how easy it is ..." -- Just no, OK?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Beck_Neard (3612467)

      > Seriously, after that sawing off a live man's head, I have NO problem with blowing these assholes away.

      If a video of a man's head being sawed off makes you frightened and impairs your judgement, then you are just playing into their hand. It's a shame the word 'terrorism' has shifted away from its original meaning of "The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims", because it's such a great word, and it applies amazingly well here. An act of terror doesn't have to be crashing a p

      • It is sad that you had to resort to ad hominum thereby nullifying anything that you say rather than think things through.
        Was I frightened? Nope. However, this is a group that wants to be a NATION. This is supposed to be a state. Now, they take a journalists, capture him, torture him for multiple years and then in the end, saws off his head. Frightened? No. However, a nation that would BUTCHER somebody like this, would be universally condemned.

        In addition, ISIS has shown that they will BUTCHER anybody th
        • Where did I use ad-hominem? Talk about knee-jerking...

          I agree with your points about genocide, I never said anything contrary. Nevertheless, sawing off a man's head and posting the video online is an act of terror. To drive the point home, it seems that the knife used during the video was a prop knife (or just a very dull one) and the actual beheading happened off-screen, maybe even after he was killed by other means.

          The same goes for the video of heads on spikes.

          The Yezidi people, on the other hand, were g

    • What's the appropriate response to that, American Exceptionalist?

      Seriously, after that sawing off a live man's head, I have NO problem with blowing these assholes away. In fact, I would be happy to pull the trigger to launch.

      Sooo many Americans that learned sooo little from the Iraq invasion. Easily manipulated once, shame on them, easily manipulated twice, shame on you.

      • Yes, it is far better to be like Europe where they simply pay the terrorists a ransom, ignoring the fact that it continues to rise and fund the terrorism.
        • by Uberbah (647458)

          Yes, it is far better to be like Europe where they simply pay the terrorists a ransom, ignoring the fact that it continues to rise and fund the terrorism.

          Willfully obtuse much? If the U.S. gets to bomb a few thousand people because one guy got his head cut off, what are the Muslims over there entitled to do to you in return for Predator Drones, Signature Strikes, and bombing weddings and funerals?

          The largest and nastiest terrorist groups in the world are indisputably the United States and Israel.

  • i found it (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by hjf (703092)

    Langley.

    Also training ground for Hamas, Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda...

    • by Cardoor (3488091)
      wanted to upvote, but instead opted to comment. i'm astounded at the extent to which everyone is falling for the same old story. it's like bad kabuki-theatre.. they are barely trying to even pretend anymore that it's all orchestrated, but people just refuse to see it. sigh.

      would someone please stop and think?? We are being told to believe on the one hand that "ISIS" is this incredibly intelligent and organized organization. yet on the other hand, that said same intelligent organization would commit a hei
      • by hjf (703092)

        OK, OK, let's just say that CIA is the training agency behind the School of the Americas, the masters of torture used in the 70s in Latin America.

    • by Cardoor (3488091)
      oh yeah.. and here it is...

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/... [washingtonpost.com]

      like i said.. barely even trying to pretend.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ISIS has been ISIL for at least a month now. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria changed to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. This is significant as they are trying to create a Muslim Caliphate over the governments of the entire region.

    • They've been just IS for some time now. And if I'm not mistaken, the last S in ISIS stands for Sham, which is Arabic for Levant. And they claim that the Caliphate has been established.
  • by Jeremi (14640) on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:23PM (#47734555) Homepage

    Drone target-selection via popular vote on Reddit in 3, 2, 1....

  • I used this technique a few years ago to find a CIA detention centre in Afghanistan called "The Salt Pit". A satellite imaging company showed images but without coordinates (at government request). I had Google Earth and looked at the colors and images carefully. It took about 45 minutes, but I found it and posted the exact lon/lat to Wikipedia. They didn't turn me down.

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