lurkitty: (jane)
This bit from SlashDot showed up on one of my mailing lists this morning:

Your Rights Online: In the UK, Possession of the Anarchist's Cookbook Is
Terrorism
Posted by Zonk on Mon Oct 08, '07 03:22 AM
from the orwell-would-have-been-so-proud dept.
[ The Courts ]
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.'"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Anarchist's_Cookbook
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7030096.stm

I admit to a flash of ZOMG!CivilRights!WTF! and went to the BBC News link. It said exactly what the SlashDot article said.

Before assailing you with a diatribe on civil rights, I decided to get a few more details.

The Yorkshire Post reports that there were two teenagers arrested for terrorism in Yorkshire. The first was allegedly using the Anarchist Cookbook to construct a bomb with the chemicals he was arraigned for possessing last month: some 950g of potassium nitrate and 250g of calcium chloride. The boy had recently returned from Pakistan.

The second boy was from the same neighborhood and was also charged with possession of The Anarchist Cookbook as well as other materials.

Obviously, there is a lot more to this story. There is a big difference between having the Anarchist Cookbook and using it.
lurkitty: (albert)
As I was hopping back and forth between activities at a conference this weekend, the breaking stories were the bombs in London and the attack on the Glasgow airport.

I was very disappointed that, before any evidence was released, CNN was reporting a link to Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is the current bogeyman. They're hiding under your bed, and the instant that anything untoward happens, Al Qaeda is blamed.

Right now, some are calling the persons arrested "middle eastern", while witnesses to the arrests are on record as describing them as "asian" - which is used in Britain to refer to people from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Consider the fact there are widespread protests in Pakistan due to the Knighting of Salman Rushdie. Quoting from the Asian Tribune Article:

"In neighbouring Pakistan a near hysteria has been created against knighthood for Salman Rushdie. Both Houses of Pakistan Parliament (national assembly) have passed resolutions against the knighthood, as have the state assemblies. Effigies of the Queen and the Union Jack have been burnt all across the country, including its so-called cultural capital, Lahore.

Speaking in the national assembly, a federal minister, who is also the son of a former military dictator, Gen Zia-ul-Haq, justified terrorism in the name of religion and incited people in his country to carry out suicide attacks. His words must have worried the present military dictator enough for their impact on Pakistan’s already sullied image to force the egregious Pakistani minister to issue a ‘clarification’. "

Another statement that aroused concern was by Pakistan's religious affairs minister, Mohammad Ejaz-ul-Haq. According to Asia Media, he said, "If someone commits suicide bombing to protect the honor of the prophet Mohammad, his act is justified." They reported that he "later retracted his statement, saying he was not looking to incite suicide bombing but explaining that knighting Rushdie could foster extreme actions."


Despite these very specific threats, there has been no speculation about links to the Pakistani protests. CNN is still reporting that it is an "Al Qaeda-linked group" (sorry, no link yet as transcripts have not been published). The only "evidence" cited in the Al Qaeda speculation is that Al Qaeda has used linked car bombs - where one small bomb goes off to get gawkers out into the street, then a second, larger bomb goes off to kill them. It is speculated that the two cars seized in London were linked bombs.

The fact that the US has not raised its security level lends credence to that idea that this is an attack directed toward the UK, not one directed toward the "allies" in Iraq.

The rush to judgement does not serve us well. Speculation about links to Al Qaeda should not be raised by news organizations unless there is proof. The police investigation will show soon enough who was or was not involved. Instead of trying to scoop other news organizations, reporters should be circumspect in their speculations until the evidence is reviewed.
lurkitty: (Default)
I complained of cynicism the other day with respect to the timing of the revelation of the latest terrorist plot. As it turns out, it appears my cynicism was warranted. The Bush Administration had quite a hand in forcing the timing of the raid on the terrorist cell. The British authorities wanted to wait for more evidence (visas, for example). But the Americans pushed for earlier arrest.

What is more, according to an article in Media Matters, the American media have been less than eager to jump on the story. Despite the fact that the story was reported by NBC News, Pundit George Stephanopolous inferred that that it was simply a rumor on the internet.

Now we shall see what the media thinks of Seymour Hersh's latest impeccably researched revelation in the New Yorker: That the US helped orchestrated Israel's retaliation against Hezbollah as a prelude to a preemptive strike in Iran.

In his story, Hersh quotes an unnamed Western diplomat. I got chills with this line from the article: The crisis will really start at the end of August, the diplomat added, “when the Iranians”—under a United Nations deadline to stop uranium enrichment—“will say no.”

Make someone listen, please.

(cross posted to ljdemocrats)
lurkitty: (Default)
While thousand of airline passengers are being made to dump liquids and gels at airports around the world because of a planned terrorist attack based in London, some very odd circumstances have occurred a bit closer to home with little fanfare.

In the sleepy capitol city of Oregon, Salem, someone is apparently attempting to attach pipe bombs to cars.

Several things are quite strange about this story. Two of the bombs have been found wired to SUVs, one in Salem, and one in nearby Dallas, OR. Two were found lying in the street, as though they had fallen off. In fact, when the woman driving the Salem SUV found the bomb on her vehicle, she found wires attached to her side mirror. She pulled at the, and the pipe fell off and rolled away.

It seems the perpetrator is somewhat...unskilled. It would almost be comedic save that we are speaking of live bombs that could have gone off. Officials have not released details about how they might be detonated, but have noted that they are, indeed, bombs.

Another thing I find strange about this is that I only learned about it because my sister works for the state. An email was distributed to state workers telling them to search under their cars when parked in Salem parking lots. There have been a few local news articles, but the larger Portland news organizations have spent little time covering this story. I guess domestic terrorism in the Capitol City is not a priority.

My ex got the SUV in the settlement. I called and warned him as soon as I found out.
lurkitty: (Default)
More bombs. This time in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. To understand the full impact of this act of terrorism, one must know that this resort city is known as "City of Peace", both because of the tranquility of the place and because of the number of peace treaties negotiated here in conferences.

To many in the Middle East, an attack on this city is an attack on peace itself, and the accusations are flying a fast and furious this morning. While US sources continue to bang the Al Qaeda drum, other fingers are pointing toward Israel, the UK and the US. The danger lies in who believes what. There are extremists on all sides with more bombs ready for revenge. Even if they figure out who did it, no amount of convincing will change everyones mind -- there will still be conspiracy theorists out there egging people on to think the other way.

With more bombs. Killing more people. So that someone else can avenge their death...

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