Christiaan Triebert+ Your Authors @trbrtc Visual Investigations @nytimes. Previously @bellingcat. Monitoring things, mostly niche. Retired hitchhiker. @quiztime. Usual caveats. Aug. 18, 2017 5 min read + Your Authors

On August 15, 2017, the @IntlCrimCourt issued the first ever arrest warrant entirely based on social media evidence. 

The charges accuse Al-Werfalli (alleged Al-Saiqa Brigade commander) of mass executions in/near Benghazi, #Libya, during Operation Dignity.

Based on 7 incidents shown in 7 social media videos, Al-Werfalli is charged with murder as war crime under Art. 8(2)(c)(i) of Rome Statute.

The use of social media evidence is significant, @EIrvingNL writes → aligns ICC with realities of today’s conflicts. 

Therefore, groups like @Bellingcat, which conduct weekly open source investigations, follow developments closely.

The @Syrian_Archive is even entirely devoted to preserving open source evidence of potential human rights violations 

However, there are potential perils to the promise of open source evidence, such as verification and weight of the evidence, as @EIrvingNL.

In 'Open Source Evidence on Trial', @lawrightstech discusses challenges (and importance!) of open source evidence. 

In many of today's conflicts, like Syria and Yemen, open source evidence is abound. Perpetrators (e.g. IS) often post material themselves.

The Werfalli case is only start of "long, and likely complex, relationship between open source evidence and international criminal justice."

.@Bellingcat is crowdsourcing the geolocation of the seven videos on which the ICC arrest warrant is based. 

That was fast: Incident Four has been geolocated.

We have possible hints for the location of Incident Five: near Camp Thunderbolt. See @checkdesk for more: 

The location of the Incident Five execution has been found (indeed near Camp Thunderbolt).

Here are some visual clues for Incident One, likely to be an orchard somewhere in/near the Qawarishah suburb. 

Another visual clue is an electricity pylon. You can download a kmz-file of Benghazi's electricity network here: .

The execution site of Incident One has been geolocated too, by Bellingcat's @daniel_b_cat: 32.014444, 20.113928.

Werfalli was allegedly in Ajdabiya (أجدابيا), #Libya, last night, photos posted to social media appear to show.

Five individuals have allegedly been executed in Adjabiya, #Libya, while Werfalli — wanted by the ICC — was in town.

The alleged executions took place during daylight at a roundabout in the northwestern part of Adjabiya, #Libya.

While Werfalli is supposed to be in LNA custody, he appears to freely roam around in Adjabiya. Coverage @libyaherald 

We've geolocated a fourth Werfalli execution site (Incident Seven) in Benghazi, #Libya. 

A macabre detail: the blood stains of the executed individuals are visible on satellite imagery.

We geolocated another Werfalli execution site in Libya. Macabre detail: blood stains are visible on satellite image. 

Now on Bellingcat: a simple open source survey of the recent developments regarding Werfalli (he has reportedly been released). “What Werfalli Did — Haftar’s Commander Continues Executions in Defiance of ICC Arrest Warrant” 

Werfalli — wanted by the ICC — cuts a cake while his supporters reportedly threw a party to celebrate his release, a video published by @Lyobserver shows. Some claim that Werfalli was released following threats to Haftar from the "Makhadda" militia. H/t @ckoettl.


"Werfalli’s relevance as a leader of the most powerful Salafi brigade under the LNA makes him an indispensable asset to Haftar", @erinaneale and @yousufeltagouri write in @ACmideast. #WerfalliWatch 

Interpol (@INTERPOL_HQ) has issued a red notice for Mr Werfalli on charges of 7 counts of murder as a war crime. #WerfalliWatch 


#WerfalliWatch: LNA's Haftar threatens not to pay salaries to the Saiqa Brigade unless they hand over 150 fighters that objected his decision to to arrest Werfalli and sack Wanis Bu Khamada, @ALNABAA_EN claims. 

@ALNABAA_EN In a Facebook post, the LNA's Saiqa Brigade announced they have started their own radio show ( ). This may hint towards mounting divisions within #Libya's Haftar-aligned forces, as @nkvest_22 suggests (). #WerfalliWatch

#WerfalliWatch: Uncertainty over the status of Mahmoud Werfalli, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, has opened a rift between military leaders who detained him for questioning, and fighters who staged protests to force his release. 

#WerfalliWatch: Werfalli handed himself in on Feb. 6, 2 weeks after shooting 10 prisoners. He was released the same night, before returning to Rajma where he has stayed for the past weeks as military police investigate him, military sources tell @Reuters.

#WerfalliWatch: Werfalli was released on bail after the first part of the investigation. He would not be handed over to the ICC, LNA spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari said, because of the “integrity and strictness” of the #Libya|n justice system. (Via @Reuters.)

The @ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the @UN Security Council that despite arrest warrants to punish Libya National Army's Mahmoud Werfalli for alleged war crimes, he is still at large. #WerfalliWatch 

Mohammad al-Gali (the man who uploaded and probably filmed the Werfalli execution videos that were subsequently used by the ICC to issues an arrest warrant) claims he was contacted thrice by the ICC to testify but that he refuses to do that, @Lyobserver reports. #WerfalliWatch

Besides Werfalli, @IntlCrimCourt (has already called for the surrender of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdelkader al-Tuhami, the former head of #Libya's internal security service. The ICC expects to soon issue more arrest warrants in Libya. #WerfalliWatch

The @IntlCrimCourt has issued a second arrest warrant for LNA-commander Werfalli after he personally shot dead 10 persons in front of a mosque in Benghazi, @Libya, in early 2018. At the time, I analysed the visual evidence for @Bellingcat  #WerfalliWatch

Werfalli and the Saiqa Brigade stormed the LNA's Military Investment Authority in Benghazi, #Libya, local media reports. The Authority's head Al-Fakhri “is someone like an IS money militant”, Werfalli said in an apparent leaked phone call. #WerfalliWatch 

Werfalli has escaped prison (again) after he was reportedly jailed for storming the LNA's Military Investment Authority. #WerfalliWatch 

Werfalli's Saiqa Brigade meanwhile reportedly took control of the Port of Benghazi on 12 July 2018. Current control status of the port is unknown. #WerfalliWatch 

Latest #WerfalliWatch: The Benghazi Court Martials has annuled the arrest warrants for Mahmoud Werfalli and “his cameraman” Mohammad al-Gali. This is in defiance of the ICC arrest warrant for Werfalli, that is still in place. 

Werfalli, the leader of LNA's Saiqa Brigade, is wanted by ICC and Interpol for war crimes. Haftar shows total disregard to these institutions and has issued an order to promote Werfalli from MAJ to LTC, sources tell @libyanexpress. #WerfalliWatch 

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