Monday, May 21, 2007

A chilling read - (now slightly updated to be even more chilling)

Khalid Khaliq, 34 from Beeston, Leeds, who has been in custody for over a week and was charged late on Sunday and will appear today at City of Westminster Magistrates, central London, charged under the Terrorism Act 2000with possessing "a document or record namely the al-Qaeda training manual containing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".

If found guilty this carries a maximum sentence of ten years

The more I think about the wording of the charge the more I am fascinated by it. The 'document or record' doesn’t have to be illegal per se. Nor is there any requirement to prove that the person charged with holding the document was intending to do anything with it; just that someone, somewhere could find it useful.
Given that juries are responsible only for deciding whether an accused person is 'guilty as charged' and are not empowered to comment on the sanity of the charge itself, it's all quite sinister. The fascinating part is deciding whether the thinking behind the charge is more Orwell or Kafka. My money would be on Kafka

Flipping through an on-line copy of the Chilling Terror Manual in question I couldn’t help but be struck by the parallels with that other chillingly infamous document ‘The Anarchists Cookbook’. It too is a pile of old crap and highly likely to cause the death or injury of anyone dumb to make use of its contents. So much so that there has been persistent speculation over the years that the version of The Anarchists Cookbook in common circulation was edited and promoted by a US intelligence agency.


/ scratches chin

I was intending to reproduce an example page taken from the Chilling AQ Terror Manual at this point but decided that I have better plans for the next ten years. So, I'll paraphrase a section selected at random instead

How to assassinate someone in a car

1. Stop his car with another car
2. Get out of your car and kill everyone in the other car

Note: Make sure some of the assassins can drive

Having read through the Chilling AQ Terror Manual (‘chilling’ to some, laughably crap to others) I think that it’s fair to say that there are episodes of The Professionals that contain information that is more likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing acts of terrorism. And as for that old copy of Bravo Two Zero you might have knocking around the house somewhere I’d suggesting binning that fucker tout suite

Alternatively, if you find yourself developing a taste for this kind of thing may I recommend ‘
Tinman_999’’s Amazon shopping list entitled ‘Want a police file on you?’. Jihadists on a budget will be pleased to know that most of the books in the list qualify for Amazon Super Saver Delivery.

Tinman_999 is fifteen years old

And now strikes me as an excellent time to flush my browser's cache...


edit: Other bloggers (well, two of them) appear to be equally impressed with today's news - including Postman Patel and The Antagonist. A comment underneath Postman Patel's post is worth repeating here...

It is worth quoting Duncan Campbell from his original article of the Guardian on April 14, 2005 entitled 'The ricin ring that never was'

The most ironic twist was an attempt to introduce an "al-Qaida manual" into the case. The manual - called the Manual of the Afghan Jihad - had been found on a raid in Manchester in 2000. It was given to the FBI to produce in the 2001 New York trial for the first attack on the World Trade Centre. But it wasn't an al-Qaida manual. The name was invented by the US department of justice in 2001, and the contents were rushed on to the net to aid a presentation to the Senate by the then attorney general, John Ashcroft, supporting the US Patriot Act.

/ scratches chin for the second time today

No doubt, the BBC and other mainstream news outlets will be commenting on the civil liberties implications of the wording of the charge and questions about the provenance and dubious utility of the training manual at some point over the next couple of days. No doubt..

edit2: Khalid Khaliq has been released on bail. His case will be heard on July 2nd. Which ties in nicely with the second anniversary of the 7/7 bombings in which the BBC has obligingly reminded us with a cut and paste job at the end of the story about Khaliq's bail...

"Fifty-two people died and more than 750 were injured when suicide bombers attacked three London Underground trains and a bus almost two years ago"

... just in case anyone has forgotten.

The reporting of Khaliq's hearing will doubtlessly be a part of the tasteful and dignified celebration commemoration of the anniversary of 7/7 in which no-one will seek to make any political capital out of the death of 52 people (strictly speaking it's actually 56) or spout any deranged horseshit at all. None whatsoever



paul said...

unlucky he wasn't caught with only this or this or this

Shahid said...

1) Al Qaeda doesn't exist
2) Even if they did, they wouldn't have a manual
3) Even if they did have a manual, it would be in Arabic
4) Even if all that were true, it would never be distributed

The problem is that the more people pay attention to shit like this, the more likely Joe Bloggs is to just accept that such things are real, that they exist, that they are used and that they are being used by alleged-home-grown-terrorists.

My blood is at about 99 celsius and climbing...

Stef said...

@shahid - It's always struck me as being quite peculiar how our supremely capable hi tech intelligence services are never able to pin down who's hosting all those Jihadist websites that are the sources for all these terror manuals and confession videos

Maybe someone should email Meye5 a link to 'whois'?

paul said...

They're probably looking in the wrong place (caves etc). Luckily this public spirited fellow has a better idea.

Stef said...


"For some reason, Newsweek left out the most important fact -- Azzam is being hosted by an American company -- and has been since long before Sept.11.

My concern is that virtually all the organizations offically designated by the U.S. Department of State as terrorist (Hamas, Hezzbullah, Laskar-Jehad, Al-Qassom, the Chechen Mujihdeen...) have fully functioning websites all hosted by American ISPs -- except for the rest which are hosted by British ISPs."

Stef said...

OK, I shouldn't be laughing

Maybe the people behind Taking Liberties' could insert a section comparing and contrasting the spectacular degree of freedoms afforded to 'Al Qaeda' websites in the US/UK with the kind of nonsense some ordinary Muslims are being banged up for.

There again, maybe not

The Antagonist said...

Rob Newman -- the better and far more talented half of the Newman Baddiel combo -- has for a good long time now been hosting a copy of the CIA Freedom Fighter's Manual:

The CIA Freedom Fighters' Manual
Freedom Fighters' Manual

The Freedom Fighters' Manual was compiled by the CIA and given to the Contras as part of their not-so-covert support of the opponents of the revolutionary Sandinista government. Published to distribute among the civilian population of Nicaragua, this delightful 16 page cartoon book suggests how to destablise and overthrow your government using such revolutionary tactics as blocking up toilets with sponges, dropping typewriters and threatening your boss over the phone.

If you would like to learn how to bring about a regime change of your own, you can download the whole Freedom Fighters' Manual here as a zip file (1.24 MB).

Seeing as the CIA are the good guys and on the same side as our regime over here, having a copy should be regarded as entirely legal, legit and above board.

Stef said...

Excellent, and in a school age friendly format too

I've liked a lot of Newman's output in recent years but, sadly, he's swallowed the CO2 thing hook line and sinker and bangs that particular drum more than any other, which is a shame as he comes across as being smarter than that

kosmik knight said...

Actually, Shahid, Al Qaeda DOES exist, better known as Al CIA-duh. So seeing as 'The Database' was a CIA invention it follows that this fake manual is also a CIA invention.

I know the plods are dim and their boots are smelly. But you'd think they'd know that, wouldn't you?

Or are they even dimmer than I thought? Or maybe their smelly boots put them off the track in their relentless war of (sorry, I should say 'on') terror?

Stef said...

or is it Arabic for 'I'm off for a dump'?

Who knows?

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the manual: if it was genuine, it would give as a list of possible UK targets, thousands of miles of unprotected railway line (vulnerable to hacksaw and lever attack); it would give thousands of miles of electricity pylons (vulnerable to hacksaw attack); it would give infection of livestock by disease (ie a repeat of the foot'n'mouth epidemic); it would give proper recipes for explosives eg PETN. If it doesn't it is obviously a sham.

Stef said...

It is so far from anything like that it is funny. Or rather it would be funny in a less serious context

Shutter said...


It has just occurred to me that if the original source of this document is the one Plod discovered in Crumpsall, Manchester (When because of petty inter force rivalries,sheer incompetence they let their Sgt Oake be killed )- then they bear the responsibility for letting this dastardly manual on the world! KK is only charged with possesion , which as any skool boy no is a different thing to distribution - can we expect to see Head of Tupperware Sales UK, The Sphincter of the Yard up on a posession and dealing Jihadist literature charge? ..

Not to mention of course the wilful distribution of public property held as Forensic evidence in a criminal case** In re ) Photographs of "bombs", "nail bombs" etc., ...

I mean it is entirely possible that certain people's finger prints, DNA might just be found on these items ... which would be a "major breakthrough" in this "painstaking and complex operation".

I think we should be told.

** In which 56 people were killed and over 300 injured.

Curious how the heat seems to have been turned down on the "Cash for Coronets" and the midget Karaoke King, Lord Levy, the Dear Leader's personal envoy for Israel is taking a bow and finally leaving his office in the Foreign and Commenwealth Office which is immediately next door to the fragrant Lady Beckett's - amxious consideration is being given in Totteridge to who will provide Gordon Brown with a hot line through to the Knesset ... could it possible be Lord Cohen of Apax, business gent and generous provider of funds to the New Labour Party ?

I think we should be told.

** In which 56 people were killed and over 300 injured.