3 best books for learning about osint and open-source intelligence

Unleashing the Power of OSINT: Three Must-Read Books for Intelligence Professionals


Enhance your OSINT skills with these top recommendations

As our world becomes increasingly digitized, the ability to gather intelligence from publicly available sources has become more important than ever. This is where Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) comes into play. OSINT refers to the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information from publicly available sources such as social media, news articles, and government websites. In today’s age of information, OSINT has become a critical tool for government agencies, law enforcement, and businesses alike.

Whether you’re new to OSINT or an experienced practitioner, there’s always room to improve your skills and knowledge. The field is rich in many books, which is why we’ve recommended our top three OSINT books for upskilling, current trends, and techniques.

These three books are essential reads for anyone looking to enhance their knowledge and skills in this field. Each book offers a unique perspective on the ever-evolving world of OSINT, providing valuable insights and practical strategies that can be applied to a wide range of intelligence activities.

Lynn Dudenhoefer, Analyst & Intel Desk Lead @ HENSOLDT Analytics

Book 1: “Open Source Intelligence Techniques" by Michael Bazzell

“Open Source Intelligence Techniques” by Michael Bazzell is a comprehensive guide to using open-source information to gather intelligence. The book covers a wide range of topics, including search engines, social media platforms, and tools for web scraping and data mining.

Bazzell provides practical guidance on how to gather and analyze information from a variety of sources, and how to verify the accuracy of the data. He also discusses privacy and security considerations when conducting OSINT investigations.

The book is well-organized and easy to follow, with step-by-step instructions and real-world examples. Bazzell’s extensive experience in law enforcement and intelligence makes him a credible and authoritative source of information.

Overall, “Open Source Intelligence Techniques” is an essential resource for anyone involved in intelligence gathering, law enforcement, or private investigations, as well as for journalists and researchers seeking to uncover information from publicly available sources.

Book 2: "Open Source Intelligence Methods and Tools: A Practical Guide to Online Intelligence" by Nihid A. Hassan and Rami Hijazi 

You will find a comprehensive guide to understanding and utilizing Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) tools and techniques. The book provides practical insights on how to gather, analyze and use intelligence from publicly available sources on the internet, including social media platforms, search engines, and other online resources.

The authors cover topics such as reconnaissance and profiling, social media intelligence, web scraping, data visualization, and advanced search techniques. The book is written in a clear and accessible style, making it an excellent resource for both novice and experienced analysts seeking to improve their OSINT skills.

Overall, “Open Source Intelligence Methods and Tools” is an essential guide for anyone interested in OSINT, providing valuable insights and practical advice on how to leverage publicly available information to generate actionable intelligence

Book 3: "We Are Bellingcat: An Intelligence Agency for the People" by Eliot Higgins

It is a fascinating account of how a group of citizen journalists, led by Higgins, used Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) techniques to uncover the truth behind some of the world’s most significant events. The book provides a behind-the-scenes look at the rise of Bellingcat, an online investigative organization that has gained worldwide recognition for its groundbreaking work in exposing the truth about conflicts, disasters, and political events.

Higgins shares the stories behind some of Bellingcat’s most high-profile investigations, including the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, the Salisbury poisoning, and the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The book highlights the power of collaborative OSINT work and demonstrates how ordinary people can leverage publicly available information to hold governments and other actors accountable.

“We Are Bellingcat” is a compelling read, providing valuable insights into the world of citizen journalism and the role that OSINT plays in modern-day investigations. It is a must-read for anyone interested in OSINT, journalism, or global events.


OSINT is a critical skill in today’s world, and the ability to gather intelligence from publicly available sources is more important than ever. Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced practitioner, there is always room to improve your skills and knowledge. The three books we have recommended in this article are excellent resources for anyone looking to improve their OSINT skills and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques.

As the world continues to digitize, the power of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) becomes increasingly vital. With the right tools and techniques, we can leverage publicly available information to uncover the truth and make a real impact.

Jennifer Kelly, OSINT Analyst @ HENSOLDT Analytics

At HENSOLDT Analytics, we are passionate about empowering our clients with the knowledge and tools they need to stay ahead in today’s rapidly evolving landscape of information.

If you are interested in learning more about OSINT and how our solutions can benefit your organization, we invite you to contact us today. Our team of experts will be happy to provide you with a demo of our platform and answer any questions you may have. Take the OSINT capabilities to the next level!

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HENSOLDT Analytics
HENSOLDT Analytics

HENSOLDT Analytics is a global leading provider of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) systems and Natural Language Processing technologies, such as Automatic Speech Recognition, which are key elements for media monitoring and analysis.