Be an OSINT Hero: Recognize the EU’s Most Wanted?

Did you know that Europol is an Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) powerhouse? 

Europol is not only one of the organizations where OSINT skills are very relevant and valuable, but it’s also at the forefront of fostering collaboration with OSINT sleuths from the public.  

Just recently, Europol and ENFAST launched their annual #EUMostWanted campaign, putting out a call to the public for tips pertaining to their Most Wanted List.

So why not take a few seconds to scroll through the rogues’ gallery and see if you recognize any of these baddies? Your tip could be the missing link that law enforcement needs to bring down a dangerous fugitive and prevent potential harm. 


Need proof? Check out the success stories from previous campaigns:

In addition, the #EUMostWanted 2022 campaign helped Europol close 14 fugitive cases! Five of these were solved directly as a result of the publication of fugitive profiles on the EU’s Most Wanted website. 

It’s not just a shot in the dark; it genuinely works!

Recognize someone? Just slip an anonymous tip into Europol’s DMs via their website.


Europol is running the widely recognized “Stop Child Abuse- Trace an Object” program. Here, they’re seeking your assistance in tracing the origin of objects found in explicit material involving minors. 

Your contribution, no matter how small, can make a tangible difference. Click on an object you recognize, provide the relevant info, and become part of a collective effort to make the world safer for everyone.

There’s even an entire Reddit thread,/TraceAnObject, that sleuths and OSINTers use to join forces and make their efforts even more effective.

Again, Europol’s campaign of crowdsourced intelligence has provided valuable results. The statistics speak for themselves:

“Established in 2017 by Europol, the Stop Child Abuse – Trace An Object initiative has yielded the following results (July 2021): 

  • Almost 28 000 tips have been sent in via the general public;
  • Investigators were able to narrow down a country in 127 instances;
  • 26 children, victims of child sexual abuse, have been identified and removed from harm;
  • 5 offenders have been identified and prosecuted.”


Now, if you’re feeling like a digital detective and want to join the hunt for the EU’s Most Wanted, I won’t rain on your parade. 

But just a friendly word of caution: tread carefully, as the risk of misidentification is real. It’s happened before and may happen again.

Nevertheless, when Europol explicitly seeks clear tips or asks for help in identifying evidence, your contribution is more than just a good deed— especially around the holidays!

So yeah, OSINT skills can save lives.

by Vlad Sutea

Knowmad OSINT instructor

Post by I. Vlad Sutea

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