Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Brussells And False News

Le Monde Editor's note: We've reached out to several journalists covering the attacks in Brussels and will include their stories as they come in. To keep up with journalists in Brussels, follow this Twitter list

*Brussells on front pages around the world 

Brussels airport blast 

Every public tragedy in the internet age has its defining picture, the one that's most viewed, most shared, most commented on. It's often the photo that brings the disaster closest to home because it captures ordinary people at extraordinary moments: vulnerability, disbelief, shock. It's the one that says: "It could have been any of us." Brussels attack the woman caught on camera in a profoundly human moment
Samuel Laurent and his team are, by now, used to the hoaxes and rumors that flood the Internet after major terrorists attacks. They're also used to covering the attacks themselves.
"We went through Charlie Hebdo and November 13th attacks," said Laurent, who runs Les Décodeurs fact-checking and data viz team at France's Le Monde, "so we are (sadly) quite used to these ... and the hoaxes coming right after them."
So Laurent's team knew what to look for when explosions hit Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station in Brussels Tuesday morning. The terrorist attacks have left at least 30 dead and scores more wounded.
So far, Les Décodeurs has examined hoaxes including a few fake videos, he said. One was broadcast by a French news channel and shared on at least one news site. The videos are actually from a 2011 attack at a Moscow airport. There were also false reports about other attacks, he said.
"The new tendency seems to be jihadis trying to freak out people by publishing and sharing lots of false news and warning about false imminent attacks," Laurent told Poynter via email.
The lessons he's learned from covering the attacks in Paris are freshly relevant to covering Brussels, Laurent said: Slow down. Double-check. Don't share anything you can't verify.
At Le Monde, everyone is covering the attacks in Belgium. Laurent's team is working on maps and finding hoaxes on social media. And today, they didn't need any instructions on how to begin.
"What's quite strange is the way this morning we quite naturally organized ourselves," he said, "as if we were getting used to terrorist attacks."

What Europe does not have is any cross-national agency with the power to carry out its own investigation and make its own arrests.
This means that cross-border policing in the European Union has big holes. It depends heavily on informal cooperation rather than formal institutions with independent authority. Sometimes this works reasonably well. Sometimes this works particularly badly. Belgium is a notorious problem case, because its policing arrangements are heavily localized. In the past, many Belgian policing forces have had difficulty cooperating with each other, let alone with other European forces.
That is from Henry Farrell, there are other points at the link

Paris terrorists used disposable burner phones to hide plans. No evidence of encryption. Boing Boing

Brussels attacks: How Saudi Arabia’s influence and a deal to get oil contracts sowed seeds of radicalism in Belgium Independent

Talking to People on the Streets of the Neighborhood Known as Brussels’s ‘Terrorist Hotbed’ Vice

NATO & Russia After the Brussels Attack. Stephen F. Cohen. NYU, Princeton University John Batchelor 

Belgium ups security at nuclear plants following Brussels bombings euronews

*NBC’s coverage of the Brussels attack was stunningly irresponsible Salon