Review: Geek seekers after truth

Alex Spillius on an account of how an internet sleuth invented a new form of journalism

The World Today
2 minute READ

Alex Spillius

Freelance journalist

We Are Bellingcat: An Intelligence Agency for the People 
Eliot Higgins, Bloomsbury, £20.00

In less than a decade, Eliot Higgins went from blogging about the Arab Spring from his kitchen table in Leicester to a seat on the International Criminal Court’s technical advisory board. 

We Are Bellingcat is his energetic account of this improbable ascent, from amateur digital sleuth to pathfinder in the global information wars. 

After dropping out of university, Higgins took a series of unsatisfying jobs that gave him ample time for online gaming. When uprisings spread across the Arab world in 2011, his focus switched to poring over tweets and videos from people caught up in the turmoil. 

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