Cosy up by the fire with a good book on how to make an IED this winter! WH Smiths and Waterstones forced to kill their own websites this weekend after found to be selling “how to: terrorist” guides.
Several books, including The Imprvised Munitions Handbook and guides to creating explosives and booby-traps were originally written as training manuals for the US Army in the 1960’s. They contained detailed instructions on how to manufacture Vietnam era I.E.D’s and weapons using obtainable ingredients such as fertiliser and household chemicals.
Comments on the sellers website should have been spotted by moderators straight away. One commenter reviewed ‘Boobytraps and explosives’ as a book you “should not purchase unless you are a part of Al-Qaeda” another expressed their disbelief “I thought this was just a book telling you a history around the traps, but it tells you how to wire grenades to tea kettles and motor vehicles!”
The British Terrorism act section 2, makes dissemination of terrorist publications a crime and similar works to those removed have proven to aid terrorists in the past.
The Munitions handbook is thought to have been purchased by the alleged killer of MP Jo Cox, Thomas Mair, who is set to face murder charges at the Old Bailey this week. On his first appearance in court to confirm his name he said “death to traitors, freedom for Britain”. The 53 year old from Birstall is accused of shooting and stabbing the popular politician a week before the Brexit referendum
International IT investigative website The Register who discovered the potentially illegal to own publications, even went as far to order some of the guides under pseudonyms of convicted UK Terrorists and yet did not appear to raise any red flags.
WH.Smiths and Waterstones vowed to review their controls to avoid recurrence but let’s hope the damage isn’t already done.