I am an anarchist etc.
A British teenager who is accused of possessing material for terrorist purposes has appeared in court.
The 17-year-old, who was arrested in the Dewsbury area of West Yorkshire on Monday, was given bail after a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
It is alleged he had a copy of the "Anarchists' Cookbook", containing instructions on how to make home-made explosives.
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.
It seems then that you can now be arrested and charged with a crime simply for owning a book which is freely available from Amazon and doubtless dozens, if not hundreds of book shops around the country.
It's doubly stupid for another reason. The Anarchist Cookbook is notoriously inaccurate, written as it was by a disillusioned 19-year-old man during the Vietnam era, with much of the information coming directly from military and special forces' manuals, as the author himself has wrote. If you want to lose a few limbs while making explosives that are unlikely to go off except in your face, then the Anarchist Cookbook should be your weapon of choice. It ought to be handed out to anyone who feels like carrying out a suicide bombing: hopefully what would happen to them as a result would bring the term back to its original definition.
Perhaps more instructive is that the teenager (who else?) was arrested in Dewsbury. Dewsbury was where Mohammad Sidique Khan lived prior to carrying out one of the 7/7 suicide bombings, and where arrests were made earlier in the year over the ongoing investigation into the attacks, with all those arrested, including Khan's wife, released without charge. Could it be that the police in Dewsbury are rather overreacting due to the town's most infamous recent son? The Crown Prosecution Service really ought to know better than to take such flimsy charges to court, but in the "age of terror™" even the slightest and silliest infringement of our too broadly drafted laws is seen to be actionable.