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In the UK, Possession of the Anarchist's Cookbook Is Terrorism

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the orwell-would-have-been-so-proud dept.

The Courts 602

Anonymous Terrorist writes "Back in the midsts of time, when I was a lad and gopher was the height of information retrieval I read The Anarchist's Cookbook in one huge text file. Now it appears the UK government considers possession of the book an offense under the Terrorism Act 2000 and is prosecuting a 17 year old boy, in part, for having a copy of the book. 'The teenager faces two charges under the Terrorism Act 2000. The first charge relates to the possession of material for terrorist purposes in October last year. The second relates to the collection or possession of information useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism.'"

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602 comments

Quit sensationalizing everything (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896083)

"The first charge relates to the possession of material for terrorist purposes"
Quit fucking sensationalizing everything.

Re:Quit sensationalizing everything (5, Funny)

debilo (612116) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896361)

"The first charge relates to the possession of material for terrorist purposes"
Quit fucking sensationalizing everything.
Have you ever tried British food? I wouldn't trust any cookbook originating from or used in the UK, that's 100% pure terrorism right there.

Re:Quit sensationalizing everything (5, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896363)

>> "The first charge relates to the possession of material for terrorist purposes"

> Quit fucking sensationalizing everything.

This is the UK government, what do you expect? They are slowly inventing thier own kind of newspeak, where highly emotive language can be used to justify anything.

The best one was last year when some poor guys house was accidentally raided by mistake. The police burst in, accidentally shot him and labeled him a "terrorist suspect" (rather than just a normal "suspect"). When it started to become clear that they had the wrong address, they decided he was also a paedophile and investigated him for that as well. A TERRORIST PAEDOPHILE!!!

In the end, they dropped all charges.

Remind me... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896089)

...who are the terrorists?

Re:Remind me... (5, Funny)

Twisted64 (837490) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896109)

Whoever they are, you may sleep safely in your beds. Terrorists are not in charge of Gundam.

a new meme in the making? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896159)

... is not in charge of Gundam.
Heh... As if we had not enough of these.

Re:Remind me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896245)

Watch and you'll find the answer:

http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/ [zeitgeistmovie.com]

Queue the outraged moderates.. (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896091)

Watch as some people get upset about this but still go on to say why we need to "prevent" terrorism and other crimes.

Watch as they call me an extremist for suggesting that crime prevention is an absurd attempt to trade freedom for security and will *never* work.

Re:Queue the outraged moderates.. (1)

mikey_boy (125590) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896121)

I think you mean cue ;-)

Re:Queue the outraged moderates.. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896149)

Yes, I did, but I also want them to line up! Against the wall!

Re:Queue the outraged moderates.. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896329)

Publicly stripped and cavity searched, after all they don't have anything to hide and therefore shouldn't mind. Better take samples of bodily fluids just to be safe. Anybody got a clean needle? Tell them sorry, no, can't have their clothes back, might strangle someone with them. Hey, check this out Bubba, this one got a double barreled slingshot. Let us check their garages too, never know they might have laundry detergent and gasoline stored in them, you can make a version of homemade napalm with those. Call them liars when they say it's just there for mowing the yard and doing laundry. /sarcasm off

Re:Queue the outraged moderates.. (1)

Deag (250823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896219)

I think you have the wrong forum for that.

Terrorism or Suicide? (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896099)

Having read the Anarchist's Cookbook, I'd say anyone actually attempting to use the "recipes" to make explosives should be considered suicidal rather than terrorist.

Re:Terrorism or Suicide? (4, Interesting)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896135)

What you really need is a copy of the US Army's improvised munitions handbook.

Re:Terrorism or Suicide? (5, Informative)

Matt_R (23461) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896227)

http://onlinebooks.110mb.com/tm%2031-210/31-210-contents.htm [110mb.com] for anybody who was wondering...

Re:Terrorism or Suicide? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896395)

Careful there, you're stepping dangerously close to incitement.

Re:Terrorism or Suicide? (1)

Matt_R (23461) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896437)

you could always just buy it from amazon [amazon.com]

Poor Man's James Bond (4, Informative)

gambolt (1146363) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896555)

http://www.lastgasp.com/d/21573/ [lastgasp.com]

Uncle Festor's Silent Death looks fun:

http://www.unclefesterbooks.com/book_sd.html [unclefesterbooks.com]

Any book on pyrotechnics manufacture likely has multiple uses as well.

rec.pyrotechnics FAQ:

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/pyrotechnics-faq/ [faqs.org]

All kinds of fun:

http://www.textfiles.com/anarchy/ [textfiles.com]

Re:Terrorism or Suicide? (5, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896195)

Having read the Anarchist's Cookbook, I'd say anyone actually attempting to use the "recipes" to make explosives should be considered suicidal rather than terrorist.

In the process we forget the mere possession of a book doesn't necessarily mean we're attempting to do what's written in it.

Wow, I just protested against a government policy, they better put me in jail before I kill someone.

Re:Terrorism or Suicide? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896573)

Wow, I just protested against a government policy, they better put me in jail before I kill someone.

They would, but the jails are all overcrowded, so there just isn't space...

This all just sounds barmy to me. There was probably more information useful for bomb-making in my A-level chemistry textbook (which I read at the age of 17) than in the Anarchist's Cookbook. Perhaps we should arrest everyone studying chemistry (and presumably physics, engineering...). And anyway, what self-respecting geek didn't read some book or other with a similarly provocative title at that age?

There are words that describe attempting to keep knowledge from the population, and criminalising people just for reading or watching something. There are words that describe governments that do it, too. But I guess they only apply to the bad guys, and our government are obviously the good guys.

Re:Terrorism or Suicide? (2, Insightful)

Attila the Bun (952109) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896233)

I'd say anyone actually attempting to use the "recipes" to make explosives should be considered suicidal rather than terrorist.

As we keep seeing, those two states of mind are far from being mutually excusive.

Re:Terrorism or Suicide? (5, Funny)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896299)

***Having read the Anarchist's Cookbook, I'd say anyone actually attempting to use the "recipes" to make explosives should be considered suicidal rather than terrorist.***

Amen. That's a book that we should encourage terrorists to own and experiment with. Be a lot fewer of them it they did.

Re:Terrorism or Suicide? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896415)

as we all know, 17 years old are incapable of committing terrorist acts, certainly in Shi Lanka and Palestine

ugh.... (4, Interesting)

mstahl (701501) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896103)

Don't people know most of the stuff in that book is a good way to get yourself blown up? Dangerous or not, though, censorship of any kind is just not acceptable in a free society. Everybody should read banned books [ala.org] .

Re:ugh.... (4, Interesting)

GrievousMistake (880829) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896217)

Well, I'll bet an fair amount of UK children are going to read Anarchist's Cookbook now. Let's hope any media coverage is informed enough to mention that the stuff in the book is less than 100% factual, but I doubt it. They'll probably make it sound like a really cool read.

Re:ugh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896451)

Furthermore, all the explosive "recipes" in it were researched from entirely innocent public sources at the author's local library. It's hardly secret underground knowledge.

Re:ugh.... (3, Insightful)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896475)

***Don't people know most of the stuff in that book is a good way to get yourself blown up? Dangerous or not, though, censorship of any kind is just not acceptable in a free society. Everybody should read banned books.***

The Anarchist's Cookbook is one of the few solid examples that comes to mind of a book that really should be kept away from children. The problem isn't that it might warp the mind (based on the results, there's little justification for leaving that job to parents, churches and TV). It's that the mind in question may be splattered all over the fridge if kids try cooking up some of those recipies in the kitchen.

At what point do the dangers of censorship overcome the dangers of content? I'd say 16 years of age, but I'll settle for 18 or 21.

Amazon.co.uk (5, Informative)

rvw (755107) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896107)

This means Amazon is a terrorist organization! See Amazon.co.uk: The Anarchist Cookbook (Paperback) [amazon.co.uk] .

Re:Amazon.co.uk (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896167)

ooo, that's just gold, thanks for pointing that out. I really hope if it goes to court that it's pointed out there too!

I've never read it myself but I known of it's existence, as has just about any other child in school in the UK around the 1990's (or, I would imagine, any child globally with internet access at home or in school around that time)

Re:Amazon.co.uk (1)

notaspunkymonkey (984275) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896265)

I had never read it either until I noticed this discussion - I have flicked through it in the past few mins.. it doesn't look very exciting.. and as I live in the UK - I am expecting the knock on the door shortly..

better hide my stash of Anti Aircraft missiles just in case.

Re:Amazon.co.uk (1)

infolation (840436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896449)

It is certainly going to court. The boy is appearing in Crown Court on 25th October 2007.

Everyone? (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896115)

Is that the book with all those recipes for drugs made from banana skins etc.? I remember loads of people at my school having a downloaded copy of that at 13-14 years old.

Re:Everyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896541)

Yes, I think so.

Re:Everyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896603)

There are a hundred different .txt collections calling themselves the anarchist's cookbook, but yeah at least some of them have that bullshit about "bananadine" in. Just one of many inaccuracies, at least that one won't kill you ...

Cue the knee-jerk reaction (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896117)

OF course it is. Let's face it, the purpose of this book (according to the author; see wikipedia) is to teach people how to destroy and to kill. It even shows you how to build a dirty bomb. It's a pity information wants to be free. Personally I'd like to see it deleted from the face of the earth.

Ask yourself: What good has come of this book?

Re:Cue the knee-jerk reaction (4, Funny)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896325)

Have you heard about Darwin Awards?

Re:Cue the knee-jerk reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896419)

There's nothing special about this book, other than reactionary types getting upset as soon as they see the title. People have been building bombs for a long time, just ask the IRA. All you need is a college level chemistry book. Oh no, turds like you will want to ban them now. Oh no, but the physics... Ban that too! Ah, but the maths.. BAN BAN BAN.

Pretending knowledge doesn't exist is far more dangerous than people being aware of of such things.

Re:Cue the knee-jerk reaction (2, Informative)

bytesex (112972) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896433)

Well, what good has ever come out of your grandfather ? It isn't the purpose of a book to be good; it's the purpose of a book to convey ideas, no matter how repulsive you find them. In the same vein; it wasn't the purpose of your grandfather to be good, it was his purpose to procreate. Questions of purpose in a universal context are always in vain.

Re:Cue the knee-jerk reaction (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896463)

That's not even the point. The point is that knowledge itself is never dangerous. It's dangerous, though, to start labeling knowledge as dangerous.

Because the core question of the problem is, who gets to label? Who gets to dictate what knowlege is harmful and which is good? Who may know what and why? Do you want a system in place that limits what you may learn and to what extent?

Do you think it would stop at explosives? I'm fairly sure the next thing banned would be books on the creation of drugs and medication. Close behind is pretty much anything dealing with biochemistry. Not far behind there will be knowledge for exploiting security flaws in real life locks, as well as computer programs. "Hacking" guides and tools (Germany leapt there already). Manuals explaining how fireworks and firearms work.

And so on. Where do you think it will stop? I doubt it will. After all the "dangerous" things are forbidden, companies will muscle in and do their worst to get all the knowledge outlawed that's required to escape their stranglehold, to protect their IP and markets.

Bottom line, when you open the door for outlawing knowledge, you'll soon only be permitted to know what's necessary to do your job and nothing else.

And, personally, I could rather live with 17 year olds reading the AC and getting a virtual boner over the (partly phony) "cool things" they could cook up. Knowledge alone has never hurt anyone. What it comes down to is the question how the knowledge is applied. If anyone, blame the person using it if he uses knowledge to commit a crime.

Anarchist's Cookbook saved my life (5, Funny)

graymocker (753063) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896545)

One day when I was but a lad of 16, my girlfriend dumped me for a pickup-driving football player who beat me up in gym class. In the subsequent evening alone with my thoughts I wore out my The Cure vinyl by overplaying it, so that the hissing, scratching hiss of the record player formed perfect accompaniment for the wailing and lamentation of my punctured and bleeding heart. As the record starting to skip and I heard Robert Smith wail "-enever I'm al-" over and over, I realized two things:

1. I really #%^%$! hated The Cure.

2. I was going to slit my wrists that very night. It was going to be just like that scene in The Royal Tenenbaums, with Elliot Smith and everything. Elliot Smith is way better than the cure, like, he stuck a freaking knife in his chest, man. Oh wait, maybe I should do that instead...

But then, as I was surfing online for inventive ways to kill myself, I found the Anarchist's Cookbook. That book changed my life forever. Here was someone who was clearly more pathetic than me, and who had obviously failed chemistry to boot. I got a C in chem! If in my life I could say to myself "at least I wasn't that idiot who wrote the Anarchist's Cookbook," that was a life worth living. From that moment on, I renounced all satanic rock music, discovered Christ and placed my life with the Lord, and now I run a successful business as a reseller of fine artist Thomas Kinkade's work. All thanks to the Anarchist's Cookbook. Thank you Lord, for sending me the Anarchist's Cookbook in my time of need.

That's a bit vague... (5, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896119)

The second relates to the collection or possession of information useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism

Doesn't this mean they can pretty much charge anyone for having any kind of information relating to Bus/train/airplane times? Software Vulnerabilities? Google Earth? The Location of the White House?

Yes (3, Insightful)

Xiph (723935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896165)

Don't you think that'll come in handy when fighting Terrorism?
What do you have to be afraid of, if you're not a Terrorist?
Now that i think about it... You'd better come in for questioning, seeing as you're in on a Terrorism charge, we can hold you indefinately while we investigate which books you have.

Aaarrgh.... too much paranoia.
 

Re: Indefinitely. (1)

infolation (840436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896465)

Fortunately the boy was charged in the UK. So he can be held for *only* 28 days.

And we all know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896561)

... what happens in the UK 28 days later... 8(

Re:That's a bit vague... (4, Insightful)

alexhs (877055) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896277)

The second relates to the collection or possession of information useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism.
Also every student in chemistry, materials science... can be charged. Hey, they are dangerous people, they know stuff...

Re:That's a bit vague... (1)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896375)

Oh, add in Biochemists, we can hit Terrorism and The War on Drugs at the same time!

Re:That's a bit vague... (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896399)

Doesn't this mean they can pretty much charge anyone for having any kind of information relating to Bus/train/airplane times? Software Vulnerabilities? Google Earth? The Location of the White House?
I think you got the point completely.

Re:That's a bit vague... (4, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896499)

Yes it does. It's a bit like that question on the US visa waiver form that asks if you're coming to the US to commit crimes. This means if you do commit a crime, they can give you extra punishments by adding the crime of making a false declaration on the visa waiver form.

This is the same thing. It gives the authorities extra charges they can add to increase the severity of the punishment and make it more likely that they can secure a conviction. If the state starts sliding towards a real police state, it also allows them to arrest anyone for practically anything - for instance, for a government to have political opponents arrested, by using nebulous laws that can practically make any object "useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism". A police state would go through, say, the government opponent's garden shed and find some sodium chlorate weedkiller, and arrest the opponent on the grounds that this is an ingredient for explosives and useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism.

Re:That's a bit vague... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896503)

I've pointed this out a number of times since the law was passed. Any terrorist might find it useful knowing where the PM lives. Okay, he lives at number 10 Downing Street. You now all possess information likely to be of use to a terrorist organisation. Posting AC from the library because my job depends on it.

Re:That's a bit vague... (1)

Marcus Green (34723) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896521)

"Doesn't this mean they can pretty much charge anyone for having any kind of information relating to Bus/train/airplane times? Software Vulnerabilities? Google Earth?"

No, in practice it seems to mean not anyone, but people with a darker skin complexion in posession of this type material.

perhaps he was arrested to protect the child (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896123)

I have not read that thing in a good many years, but from what i remeber it was filled with alot of miss imformation, some of which could be harmful.

Honk! Honk! (3, Interesting)

tripwirecc (1045528) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896133)

The last time I've perused the section of textbooks for education, I've come across books for aspiring pyrotechnicians and chemists that create pyro-stuff. They've also contained instructions, recipes, handling instructions and whatever else. Because of that, I almost die laughing seeing all the attempts to ban said material on the web.

Am I the first person who gets to say... (5, Funny)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896143)

Maybe it is finally time for a constitution? In writing, with guarantees of free speech?

Just a wild, crazy idea.

Re:Am I the first person who gets to say... (5, Informative)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896171)

I would have said that the Human Rights Act provided that, but reading the actual text it doesn't: Article 10
Freedom of expression
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
  2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

Re:Am I the first person who gets to say... (4, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896223)

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
      2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.


Hmm, didn't know the exact text. So, in short:

People should have rights, except for when they don't

Nice.

Re:Am I the first person who gets to say... (2, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896183)

Yeah, because that's working out so well in the US these days ;)

Re:Am I the first person who gets to say... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896207)

As long as we in the UK don't all end up gun toting lawsuit crazy maniacs.. I don't see why anyone needs this book anyway. If they charged him for having this book then they probably knew he was going to use it. *goes to RTFA*

Re:Am I the first person who gets to say... (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896507)

Again, the threat is not that this book is such a must-read (actually, it's about as lame as it can be and only survives as a "shady underground" book because of its fancy title). The threat is that if one book is considered to be a "terrorist tool", others will quickly follow.

The danger is that accepting this means accepting that knowledge may be illegal.

Re:Am I the first person who gets to say... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896593)

I get what you're saying a bit.. but after reading TFA.. the guy was wearing a hoody, and in court no less! Obviously a terrorist ;)

No it isn't, thank you very much. (5, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896315)

This may confuse many an american who live in a country that isn't free but they think it is. In europe we know we ain't got many of the supposed freedoms of the US of A and more or less, we like it that way. In for instance Holland the rules about banned books is VERY clear, it is the goverment that has banned them and those books are banned and ONLY those books. NO OTHER BOOKS CAN BE BANNED BY ANYONE ELSE!

No withholding funding from libraries that stock books somebody doesn't like. No pressure on printers, no self-censorship. IF the goverment wants to ban something, they got to come out and do it openly.

The US is very different, in theory every book is free, just that libraries that stock the wrong ones get no funding. An even greater evil exists in self-censorship. It allows the politicians to wash their hands off any anti-freedom policy while still having censorship.

Freespeech does not exist (shout fire in a crowded room to see just how free you are) so why even pretend it does exist? Far better to have extremely clear rules about what can and what cannot be said and make it very clear WHO wants it to be that way.

IF the british goverment wants to get rid of the page 3 girl, they would have to do it themselves, directly and show it to the public. In the US, the goverment would just hint at regulation, then the industry would self-regulate and nobody would be any the wiser.

Do I agree with the cookbook being under the terrorism law? No, but at least it is clear who is responsible for it (Labour party/Blair), it is clearly banned, not just not in stock at the local library. You go and live in lala land screaming to yourselve that you got freespeech. I prefer to live in the real world and KNOW what is forbidden and who forbids it. At least that gives me a target.

Re:No it isn't, thank you very much. (2, Informative)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896525)

Do I agree with the cookbook being under the terrorism law? No, but at least it is clear who is responsible for it (Labour party/Blair), it is clearly banned, not just not in stock at the local library.

No, it is not clearly banned. The law on purpose was made so vague that it allows the government to claim almost anything as being in violation of the law, and leave it to the court to sort out whether or not they think it's ridiculous. Lets really hope the courts actually have the sense to reign this in (one of the redeeming factors of the UK legal system is that in the face of power hungry politicians there is a history of judges that are willing to blatantly look for loopholes to reinterpret the laws more narrowly than they were intended).

To show just how confusing this situation in, notice that this boy was charged, but as someone else has pointed out the book is for sale at Amazon.

Re:No it isn't, thank you very much. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896607)

The idea occurs that you can buy books on Amazon as gifts for people. People who receive these gifts end up possessing them. Just a thought.

Re:Am I the first person who gets to say... (1)

jon287 (977520) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896585)

Here, you can have ours. We're not using it anymore!

who wrote it .. (0, Flamebait)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896151)

The Anarchist's Cookbook is part based on a Spanish language urban guerrilla warfare manual that the CIA cooked up when they were promoting unrest in central America. I wonder will they be arresting the head of the CIA anytime soon. This is just part of Bush's phony war on terrorism where as what they are really about is shutting down free discourse on the Internet. You see you can't oppose the US/Israeli policy in the mid-east without being a terr'ist ..

But... (1, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896169)

Think of the Chil... Wait, Terrorism? OH MY GOD. Which way is everyone else picking?

I hope that accurately summed up the sheeple's confusion on this one. Of course, in reality, children (especially 17 year old ones) that break the law should be prosecuted (maybe not quite as harshly as an adult would be) and terrorism should be stamped out, but this is -neither-. The 'kid' was probably just interested in what all the hubbub was about, and thought the book was the cool thing to have.

As far as I can tell, the 'material' he had was only the book, and the 'information' he had was also the book. Unless he was actually BUILDING a bomb, he hasn't done anything wrong. In fact, from a career standpoint, he's just prepping for a good military career as a demolitions expert. (Or other demolitions expert, for that matter.) The entire world is far too quick to jump on someone for possible terrorism when they are simply going about their daily lives.

Horrible (3, Insightful)

mvanes (1169073) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896179)

It would be horrible to be prosecuted for owning something trivial like The Anarchist Cookbook. I'm of the opinion that information should be free, it's what people do with that information is what should make them eligible to be prosecuted. Just because someone has a degree in Nuclear Physics doesn't mean that they're going to construct nuclear bombs and cause anarchy. Information can be dangerous but we need to convey logical conviction. I'm hopeful that the courts will show some common sense and rationalize.

Re:Horrible (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896333)

From the article.

The first charge relates to the possession of material for terrorist purposes in October last year.
The second relates to the collection or possession of information useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism.


While I agree owning the book should be legal, it looks like him and his mate were going to do something. Whether it was blowing up a dustbin or something/one else we will have to wait and see.

Intent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896185)

Rightly or wrongly, intent is the key here. Possession of a knife is not illegal. Possession of a knife for the purpose of murdering somebody is, then a prosecution may be brought. Similarly, possession of the Anarchists' Cookbook becomes illegal when it is owned for the purpose of furthering terrorist activity. Also, the BBC is quite light on details, as it believes it has a mandate to maintain social cohesion, and is therefore reluctant to speculate on the motives of this 'British boy'. This leads the reader to quite naturally draw the conclusion that this is a completely unwarranted attack on a young man's freedom.

Re:Intent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896347)

Not at all. If some things were allowed or prohibited purely intending on it's intended purpose, then the police, if they wanted to arrest me, could come to my house, pick up any old screwdriver (or indeed the anarchist cookbook, which I have a copy of lying somewhere in a BBS archive), and declare that I probably planned to do something illegal with this. In essence the one where you make everyone criminals, so you can arrest and prosecute anyone you want.
If you want to regulate possession based on intent, you issue licenses, and make possession without a license illegal.

Re:Intent (1)

Marcus Green (34723) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896557)

"could come to my house, pick up any old screwdriver (or indeed the anarchist cookbook, which I have a copy of lying somewhere in a BBS archive), and declare that I probably planned to do something illegal with this"

Not unless you had showed some sign of intent. That is how the law is supposed to work. Of course you can argue about the vagueness of the idea of showing intent but that is how it is supposed to work.

Please ..... (0, Redundant)

TheLogster (617383) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896187)

Does this mean that anyone how has studied:

Physics
Chemistry
Biology
Computer Science

Also be charged under the Terrorism Act, as they (probably) have documents that would be "useful" in planning a Terrorist Attack. Let's face it, it would seem that the basic human right of the Right to Insurrection, is slowly being removed.

Remember 300 years ago, the founding fathers of the US were considered "Terrorists", as well as William the Conqueror in 1066.

The easiest way for a democratic government to stay in power, is to listen and to act out the will of the people, which is what they were elected for.

Re:Please ..... (2, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896373)

Does this mean that anyone how has studied:

Physics
Chemistry
Biology
Computer Science

Also be charged under the Terrorism Act


If it does then Slashdot's going to be a very empty place shortly...

Re:Please ..... (1)

warp_kez (711090) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896447)

I have to admit, the same thought has crossed my mind. Personally, the word terrorist is being thrown around so much that the real 'bogeyman' does not have to do anything - he has us all spooked enough to see him in every face we encounter.

Remember 300 years ago, the founding fathers of the US were considered "Terrorists"
And around that time, suggesting that the Earth revolved around the sun was considered heresy and with those who suggested it treated as enemies of the state.

Re:Please ..... (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896509)

No, the founding fathers were rebels, and William the Conqueror was an invader.

Re:Please ..... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896523)

Remember 300 years ago, the founding fathers of the US were considered "Terrorists"

Nonono, that's "freedom fighters". They won.

Censorship. (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896209)

This IS censorship. I've seen too much of this in my life...
Wouldn't expect it to happen in Great Britain - the country claims to be very liberal on human rights (a way too much in some cases).

One tip to the British government - if you want to fight some real terrorists, you better start with all the Chechen "rebels" you have given asylum to, not some teenagers.
It really pisses me off, when extremists were (are?) able to openly recruit new volunteers to fight in Chechnya right in the heart of London, when obvious criminals like Pinochet and Beresowsky play with British justice while enjoying their stay in most comfortable apartments in the City, but 17-year old teenagers are prosecuted for a single BOOK they possess.

How long will it take till the government starts to burn forbidden books?

Re:Censorship. (2)

Saint V Flux (915378) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896331)

"Wouldn't expect it to happen in Great Britain - the country claims to be very liberal on human rights (a way too much in some cases)."

You must be new here if you're surprised - every few weeks there's another article on here about Great Britain is horribly violating it's citizens rights.

Re:Censorship. (1)

6foothobbit (935337) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896441)

Britain has been dealing with terrorists for decades. Anyone remember the IRA?

Re:Censorship. (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896443)

>Great Britain - the country claims to be very liberal on human rights
Ah, what you need to understand is the British way of doing things. If it's something that is so obviously stupid and/or unfair as to mak people think no sensible person would support it, the government will be all for it and write a dozen or so laws to promote it. If, on the other hand it's an area of Human rights that Joe Public thinks will be a Good Thing then you can be pretty sure the govt will ignore it with great vigour.

Re:Censorship. (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896611)

The scary thing about the UK is how many ordinary people actually think the Human Rights Act (which is pretty limited and watered down to start with) should actually be abolished, because there's a view that it lets people "get away" with too much stuff they don't like or restricts the government too much (such as, you know, preventing inhumane treatment of prisoners...)

It's an image perpetuated by media, enhanced by the fact that the best selling newspapers etc. in the UK are tabloids specializing in particularly venomous sensationalism, and obviously stories about how "normal people" have been helped by the Human Rights Act incite far less anger (and so fewer sales) than stories about how some "evil" (by middle England standards) person have been given right to do something that doesn't sit well with the mobs.

He was making explosives (5, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896231)

One thing the headline, summary and article itself don't make clear is that this guy had half a kilo of potassium nitrate, 250g of calcium chloride, videos of beheadings and he had recently visited Pakistan. More information article. [yorkshirepost.co.uk] There's a lot more to this story than "kid reads forbidden book and gets arrested". It sounds more like "this guy looks like he was planning on blowing people up".

Re:He was making explosives (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896359)

Then they should be pushing all of those items with their case, instead of trying to slip in the legal beginnings that they can use as an excuse to start carrying people away later for simply having downloaded an ebook or bought a paper copy from Amazon.

Re:He was making explosives (5, Informative)

ritesonline (1155575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896379)

Thanks for the link. For anyone too busy to go there here's a quote:- "A Yorkshire schoolboy was found with chemicals used for making bombs under his bed, a court heard yesterday. The 17-year-old, from Dewsbury, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of plotting to make bombs following a trip to Pakistan. He is also alleged to have had a copy of the Anarchists Cookbook on his computer. Piers Arnold, prosecuting, told City of Westminster Magistrates' Court the book had instructions for "viable" bombs" Look's like most Slashdotter's took the bait with the original post...

Re:He was making explosives (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896553)

Erh... he has the right chemicals, he appearantly knows what to do, was in Pakistan (suggesting he was in some sort of "training camp") and then he goes and gets the AC as tutoring material?

C'mon. That's like Kev Mitnick reading "Hacking for Dummies". I got a stuffed nose currently, but still something's fishy here.

Re:He was making explosives (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896641)

this guy had half a kilo of potassium nitrate,

Also known under name "fertilizer", usually sold in 50 kilo sacks of granulated form in agriculture stores,

250g of calcium chloride,

that's a box of blackboard chalk...

videos of beheadings

yuk, gross!

and he had recently visited Pakistan

OMFG! You don't say... P a k i s t a n !!! The Evil Empire itself!

Who needs the ACB (1)

warp_kez (711090) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896235)

Just read through Wikipedia - you can easily gleam enough information on how to turn regular dihydrate oxide into some form of ignition or explosive device just by adding some chemical to it.

The world has gone mad (1, Redundant)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896255)

Posession of 'the anarchists cookbook' is a crime now? It's about as close to being a useful terrorism manual as my dog is to being prime minister. Never mind though, eh? Anything to keep us 'safe'. We're doomed.

Re:The world has gone mad (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896633)

At least your dog would be unlikely to pass more draconian laws. I'd vote for him over several of the likely alternatives.

Complete story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896257)

The BBC news article orignally had more information, if you search for "bnp -paribas" on http://news.google.com/ [google.com] , you'll see the original article was "Boy 'plotted to kill' BNP members". It was censored by the folks in charge of the BBC because they didn't want to create any sympathy for the BNP.

This is not a mere case of possesion of materials.

Another article is at http://ichuddersfield.icnetwork.co.uk/examiner/news/regional/tm_headline=8216-teen-tried-to-kill-bnp-supporters-8217&method=full&objectid=19904648&siteid=50060-name_page.html [icnetwork.co.uk]

I might be a rappist then? (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896269)

Wow flip I just googled "date rape" and it returned all these links on drugs used, the effect and timing and the mentality behind date rapes and the iraq. I feel so illegal.

*logs onto counterstrike to return some favors*

Re:I might be a rappist then? (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896569)

Well... you do know how to do it, and (assuming you're male) you are in possession of the necessary equipment.

never mind... (3, Insightful)

carndearg (696084) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896289)

Never mind. We can't read the Anarchist's Cookbook over here any more but at least we can still wear a flashing LED on our clothing without having guns pointed at us.

It wasn't the anarchist part he was in trouble for (4, Funny)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896311)

... it was the "cookbook" part.

Those of us who have eaten British cuisine will realize fully its hazardous potential.

Yeah, it seems innocent enough, until the kid opens a delicatessen and starts whipping up some kippers & marmite. I'm sorry, but free speech has its limits, and kippers & marmite lie squarely on the other side of it. Blech!

Re:It wasn't the anarchist part he was in trouble (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896489)

>kippers & marmite
Sounds like a typical Pizza as eaten by Shaggy & Scooby. I just love the combinations they come up with and having a 6yo Scooby loving kid, I can enjoy them all over again.

Ok, we arrived at thoughtcrimes (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896313)

Knowledge has become illegal.

Could someone try to explain why knowing something is a crime? I know how to build bombs, I know how to create LSD, I have done neither. Why do I know it? Same reason man flew to the moon: It's there, and I wanted.

Did he build a bomb? Did he threaten to use it? Did he do anything resembling a crime besides wanting to know something?

I've said it before and I'll say it again, we're getting to where Pol Pot wanted to be: The dumber you are, the better citizen you are. We're really where it is becoming dangerous to know too much. Now you don't only get to be liable for something happening to you if you ought to know what you're doing, now knowledge itself is becoming illegal.

I, for one, don't welcome our new stupid overlords.

I had obtained a copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook (3, Insightful)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896403)

before the Columbine massacre and the rest of the bullshit that was going on in that era. I brought it, in printed form, to school and studied it whenever my obligations to school had been fulfilled.

Yes, the intent of the manual was malicious, but I think I gained some insight from it. The computer stuff was obsolete by the time I had it, and the chemical stuff was shaky, at best. However, it inspired me to study science and the potential for change it possessed.

This file contributed more to my love of science than any teacher or professor I've had. Prosecuting kids for being inquisitive is a surefire way to lose one's edge in the natural sciences. Goddammit, don't fuck this up as we have.

Then maybe I shouldn't say... (1)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896435)

...that you should mix equal parts Polystyrene(Styrofoam) and Petrol together to form napalm.
Wouldn't want to force our British friends to accidentally get arrested for unlawful knowledge!

Does this include science textbooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20896469)

That tell you how to make gunpowder as a lab?

Where does it end? (3, Insightful)

Smerity (714804) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896547)

Where does it end?
This doesn't directly effect me as I don't live in the UK, but sure enough these same undercurrents are affecting my country as well. Terrorism is pushing rationality to breaking point. When I was 12 or 13 I read the Anarchist's Cookbook as well - curiosity gets you at that age. I had no plans to actually use anything from it, and it's unlikely that this kid did either. It's the same interests that lead me to the summer camp that taught us how to make gun powder (shock horror you say in this post 9/11 world!) - science, chemistry and that little pyromaniac who lives inside of every one of us.

The real worry that is brought forth here is that in this case merely the possession of knowledge is a crime. I'm sorry, but a chemistry book I have lists gunpowder and some pretty volatile reactions too - will they charge me with possession of that? I have another Manifesto [wikipedia.org] - am I now a political dissident too? As they whittle down the prerequisites to treated as criminals we shall soon discover more and more of us come under scrutiny...

"In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I didn't speak up because I was a protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me."

PS. Sorry to Godwin this, but in this case it's actually relevant. =]

Careful observers will notice... (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#20896571)

... the words "in part" in the summary, suggesting that actually possession of the Anarchist's Cookbook is not terrorism.
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