Answers on OSINT for India 11 – Sample Open Source



I came across this by chance.

Using Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) to show how IAF’s Abhinandan shot down a Pakistani F-16

My own view is as follows:


  1. Too many adverbs and adjectives. It should always be in nouns and verbs. This degrades the veracity of the report.
  2. No need to mention unnecessary details like the Geneva Convention.
  3. Asif Gafoor's Twitter Handle has been long known to disseminate mis-information, thus unreliable source.
  4. Graphics would have handled the report in a better manner. It would have helped to arrange the incidents chronologically, for example twitter posts. The existing graphics are good for background but too complicated for an end-user seeking rapid understanding.
  5. No analog and print sources used.
  6. Israeli pilot. Shows the presence of misinformation.


  1. Corroborated by SIGINT.
  2. Large number of input videos.
  3. Great details about weapon systems.
  4. The researcher is an aviation expert. (Former IAF Pilot) thus increasing credibility.

From my point of observation there seems to be a blur between OSIF and OSINT that demands clarification. Also, most of the reports publicly available look as if Open Source has been used to ‘Reverse Engineer' what is already been known through closed sources. A comparative analysis is missing.


Your commentary is superb.

I have four reactions:

01 This is an excellent piece of OSIF, not OSINT, ably mapped and illustrated but mindful of your very thoughtful critical comments above.

02 It is largely worthless for its intended purpose, most people won't get past the first paragraph. This would have been best as a one pager with two graphics (one map, one image) followed by a supplemental exposition.

03 Deep fake video and imagery is too easy to make these days so the sophisticated examiner will be cautious

04 Without talking to the humans actually involved in the event this is passive OSIF not active OSIF. short videos from actual ground observers or surviving pilots would have

On your concluding observation I would say two things:

First, I reiterate, it is not OSINT unless it is answering a specific question from a specific HUMINT decision-maker.  Anything that does not do that is OSIF.

Second, I completely agree that OSINT produced by govenrment elements or t the contractors working for the  government (as well as academic working for the Deep State as well as the government) should be suspect. Any OSIF or OSINT product that does not include both human sources and foreign language perspectives is in my view suspect. I would also add that secret collection platforms are too easily fooled (e.g. SIGINT by Israeli “talking rocks” and HUMINT as well as IMINT by outright fabrication). OSINT that pupports to convey secret insights is in my view a bastardization of the discipline and fraught with danger.


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