Why ‘The Blood Rep’ and why should I subscribe?

Okay, firstly I don’t have a morbid fascination with blood and death, but blood is a big part of my job. Now, the Blood Rep was initially conceived of as a way of keeping my friends and colleagues out of harms way. This was during the height of the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and I had colleagues working there on the ground. So I started to keep track of all the goings on cataloguing all the attacks and claims that ISIS made and then shared them in the hope that it would help them. Even if the claims were false, I figured that if a colleague was out in the field and he felt that ISIS had claimed several check points in Baquba, Iraq, then they could still make an informed choice about how to go about their work.

I soon realised that this was being shared outside the news room and some of that data was being sold. Though I couldn’t confirm it, it made perfect sense; hauliers, aid workers and others could benefit from such briefs. I just felt that the work I did shouldn’t just be taken advantage of and so I stopped sharing the Blood Rep and carried on keeping my own notes covering countries and conflicts I was interested in like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Tunisia and others.

Now with the arrival of Substack I thought let me revive the Blood Rep. I am going to share two briefs per month depending on the news cycle. As a subscriber you will receive curated briefs discussing security issues and the Muslim world, drawn from sources, analysis and articles. Alongside that I will also give exclusive information based on my decade long experience and contacts working in this field. This I hope will help the specialist who may lack the pre-requisite languages or cultural nuance or contacts in the country.

However, lets be clear here: the Blood Rep isn’t for any one. These briefings are for specialists. For the non-specialist you have perfectly good news channels and magazines that can inform you on the issues. The Blood Rep is for the journalist, academic, aid worker, researcher and others who may not have the time to trawl through the material and decide what is and isn’t remarkable or news worthy.

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