These documents get you jailed (still)

Posted in Ricin Kooks, War On Terror at 12:50 pm by George Smith

From the wire, in the United Kingdom:

LONDON — A British man appeared in court on Thursday accused of having instructions to make a bomb and being in possession of a recipe to make the deadly poison ricin.

Asim Kauser, 25, an unmarried British national whose family hail from Pakistan, is charged with four offences under anti-terrorism legislation after material was found on a USB key.

Kauser, from Bolton in Lancashire, was arrested at his home on June 6 “on suspicion of possessing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing, or preparing an act of terrorism, between January 2009 and June 2011”.

He was charged with having “various instructions in how to make an improvised explosive device”.

This ricin recipe can get you jailed, from my now half a decade old work at GlobalSecurity.

They’re cheap tickets for enjoyment of the hospitality of Her Majesty. Or a bunk in the bighouse.

This is not progress in service of the rule of law, it’s decline.

This was published, in very readable form, in the Washington Post years ago. In England, it’s good for a conviction if in your possession.

The UK has a solid record of jailing people for possession of “terror documents” judged to be useful in facilitating terrorism. The enthusiasm for it has waxed and waned over the course of the war on terror. But it is always present.

One example, from 2008, at old DD blog is discussed here.

And here, in a case in which Samina Malik — a hapless person with what turned out to be legally hazardous curiosity, was convicted. (Disclosure: Malik’s defense, at one point, asked me to describe — for her defense — the nature of the materials she had downloaded.)

It is entirely remarkable that ten years into the war on terror, when all these things first came to mainstream media notice, fools everywhere still download the same old rubbish.

And the same old trash shows up in court cases again and again, the moldy mythology of printed out useless terror tracts — originally minted by the American right wing survivalist fringe in the Eighties, still very capable of sending people over. (This is the legacy of publishers who specialized in this market, like Loompanics, which went out of business a couple years ago.)

And then there’s the common story of the young man of Pakistan, or Pakistani descent, and the fascination with downloading bomb recipes. It is also a measure of the amount of scrutiny they now all receive, deserved or not, from counter-terror agencies.

It so happens I covered the metric on that, too.


  1. Alex said,

    June 24, 2011 at 10:03 am

    This is all about limiting Free Speech. After all, censorship is everywhere. The gov’t (and their big business cronies) censor free speech, shut down dissent and ban the book “America Deceived II???. Free speech for all.
    Last link (before Google Books bans it also]:

  2. Dick Destiny » These documents get you jailed (still) | Jonathan Carline's Law Of Power said,

    June 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm

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