back to article Did we say you can read that?

An issue that refuses to go away is whether some academic research now needs a license from the local police. Regular readers may remember the case of Hicham Yezza and Rizwaan Sabir, which we reported on in May. This kicked off when Mr Sabir, a postgraduate student at Nottingham University, asked Mr Yezza to help him out by …

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Pirate

What the Al-Qaeda Training Manual is REALLY useful for

I have waded through the Qur'an, sizeable chunks of the Hadith (traditions: sayings and acts of The Prophet), the Sirah (Life of the Prophet), plus assorted commentaries, etc.

I rapidly came to the conclusion that the main problem is not the insanity of a few fanatics on the fringes of Islam, but Islam itself, or, to be more specific, the Qur'an.

The Al-Qaeda Training Manual is useful because:

1. For every conceivable kind of atrocity or other shenanigans that the fanatics might get up to, it provides a supportive quotation from the Qur'an, Hadith, or both. Crimes that can be justified by appeal to Islamic scripture include (but are not restricted to): murder (or even mass murder), theft, banditry, deception (including denying that one is a Muslim), kidnapping, killing of hostages, and torture.

2. It clarifies the motives of the terrorists. These have little to do with the recent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and everything to do with imposing a world-wide caliphate, by outright force or more insidious means.

It contains little that is of much practical use to a terrorist, other than a few hints on cell organisation, counter-surveillance tactics, etc. (In fact the copy available from the US Dept. of Justice site has already been redacted to remove any information that would be directly useful.) However, for the insight that it gives into the terrorist mentality, and what they are likely to get up to, it is invaluable.

It should be compulsory reading for anyone who is in favour of an open society, instead of being regarded as subversive literature.

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Pirate

re: wanna ban what you can read?

"... anything by Tom Clancy ..."

When, during the mid-80s, I was providing research material on maritime matters to a well-known outfit in Virginia, they were indeed a bit grumpy about "The Hunt for Red October". But they (a) still worked within the constitution and accepted there wasn't a damn thing they could do about it, (b) didn't care to highlight what among clunky plot devices and piled-up factoids was too close to important stuff, and (c) actually had a sense of perspective, because they had an opponent organised on similar bureaucratic lines to their own.

I suspect what's changed is (c). What terrifies the authorities about "terrorists" is not that they are a big physical threat (and they aren't, they really aren't) - but that the antinomian self-sufficiency and emergent networking is exemplary of a threat to *all* authority. Which is why the reaction is of a different, totalitarian, order, comparable to the routing out of heresy, suppression of self-will among serfs and slaves, annihilation of class-traitors or extermination of race-polluters.

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Pirate

RE: Gianni Straniero

The Police were faced with the task of proving that Yezza and then Sabir did not intend to use the manual, not that it was a "dangerous document". Its status as a dangerous document was set by the Government, not the Police, so stop acting like the Police make it up on the spot, they don't, they get stuck with enacting the law as set by Parliament. Which takes us back to the democracy bit - you don't like the list of books/documents or feel that some other freedom is being trampled on, please feel free to vote at the next election for a member you feel will represent your views.

The Police, under the Act in question, are tasked with proving the arrested had intent to use it. This boils down to being in a position to be able to provide evidence in court that Yezza or Sabir had an intent to use the material to commit a criminal and probably terrorist act. The Police released both when they decided they could not garner such evidence, probably because neither had such an intent. But I wish all the sheeple bleating here would realise the Police were just doing their jobs and acted reasonably. Under the 2006 version of the Act, they could have kept both locked up for 28 days whilst they looked for evidence, at which point six days looks a lot better.

And did any of you libtards stop to think for a second the Yanks have the AQ manual up as a honey-pot for the very stupid AQ sympathisers? Do you really think any download of such material from a US Gov site is not very carefully tracked? Why? Because the history of many Western jihadis is they first get influenced by, amongst other stuff, online material. By tracking them early, the FBI and friends can get an early view of likely future idiots. Do you really think all those real jihadi sites have the muscle to get top of the Google search lists? I can guarantee you the top 100 Google hits for "Al Quaeda manual download" are being monitored. Maybe Sabir had this in mind when he asked Yezza to download it for him, after all he did have other options.

In summary, sir, you are beyond an ass, sir, you are just one of the sheeple.

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Coat

@Frank Gerlach, re. Margaret Thatcher

Would that be the same Iron Lady who spent a large chunk of the 80s attempting to force football fans to carry ID cards: no card, no match. Yes? I thought so.

Might it be the case that her antipathy to ID cards only stems from the fact that they might not only be applicable to the Wrong Kind of People: indeed, Our Kind of People would be expected to carry them too and, god forbid, but it might happen that a member of Her Majesty's Constabulary might (in error, obviously) demand that One Of Us present his or her ID card... the effrontery.

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@Matt Bryant

> you don't like the list of books/documents or feel that some other freedom is being trampled on, please feel free to vote at the next election for a member you feel will represent your views.

What a marvellous idea. Unfortunately the rest of the sheeple (and those "authoritards", like you, who blindly think that simply owning/ reading something means you're going to do something bad) are quite happy in their blissful ignorance, to vote for someone who says they're going to make us all safer without the slightest clue of how this will actually be achieved or how they will lose basic rights and liberties that their forefathers fought wars to protect.

> And did any of you libtards stop to think for a second the Yanks have the AQ manual up as a honey-pot for the very stupid AQ sympathisers?

Ah, of course! It was all a cunning ploy all along! It was, indeed, so cunning, that you didn't event think to *MENTION* this in your previous "authoritard" rants about how someone didn't have a "good reason" to download "dangerous books" etc etc...

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@JohnG

*breaths deap and used his mental fire extinguisher*

how wrong can you be let me count the ways

""How about someone having copies of launch codes for Britain's nuclear weapons "for research"?""

codes and passwords are not books codes , paswords , PINs etcare allways imune for free speech arguments

"Or how about a manual describing how to make and use date rape drugs effectively? Someone involved in pharmacology might have a legitimate use for such information but it would probably depened on the context of their research."

having the knowlage on how to make it and uning it are 2 diffrent things I know how to make gunpowder should I be arested?

"I don't see why books should have some kind of immunity. If someone has a slide-hammer and a screwdriver whilst working in their garage, that's perfectly reasonable. On the other hand, if someone is found to be carrying the same tools in a car park at 2am, they will probably be arrested for "going equipped to steal"."

again tools and knolage are not the same things and you would have to be doing soming suspisions.

"If someone has a book providing instructions on how to make bombs from household materials, it doesnt seem unreasonable for them to explain the context." yes but the burdon of proof should be "prove I am going to blow somthing up" rather than "prove you are not going to blow somthing up"

"Given that Al Qaeda has used British citizens with origins in various Islamic countries to commit acts of terrorism in the UK and abroad, it would seem particularly stupid for someone of that demographic to be in possession of such material." I call racisum on that!! seriousley it is that sort of profiling that causes a lot of hatrated in the first place

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Black Helicopters

Face it, folks...

We're living in the new, improved version of the late 5th century CE, when what was left of a once-great civilization was put out of its misery. We can quibble over whether Brown or Bush is actually the one filling in for Romulus Augustus.

The difference is, Middle Ages tech didn't reliably give the overlords total control, 24/7/365 like the well-heeled autocrat of today. No, back then, they had to appropriate and subvert a previously pacifist religion and use it to drive the fear of the Other into the minds of millions for a millennium. While that approach has been proven effective in modern times (e.g., what once was a constitutional republic known as the "United States of America"), combining it with the electronic and media technology available today gives even the most insecure dictator thoroughly reassuring levels of Total Control over His supine populace. Thus, the backward age that lasted a mere thousand years the last time 'round looks quite likely to go considerably longer under the New World Order. The optimist in me hopes it's 'only' ten times as long; in any event, I'm sure my (natural or other) death will long precede even the end of the beginning.

The first performance as tragedy, the second as farce - though no less tragic or harmful.

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