SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Do-it-yourself manuals for making explosives are caught in the latest salvo between First Amendment rights and the war on terrorism.
In a press release Thursday, Senator Dianne Feinstein took aim at The Anarchist’s Cook Book and Inspire Magazine after two women arrested in New York, allegedly used them to plan an Islamic-state inspired attack on the United States.
“I am particularly struck that the alleged bombers made use of online bombmaking guides like the Anarchist Cookbook and Inspire Magazine. These documents are not, in my view, protected by the First Amendment and should be removed from the Internet,” wrote the Democrat from California.
The Anarchist Cookbook was written by William Powell in 1971, and contains instructions to make explosives. Powell has fought to have is own book removed from publication, but the publisher has refused.
Inspire Magazine is purported to be published by al-Quaeda, and like the ‘Cookbook’ gives bomb-making instructions.
Feinstein made a similar call after the Oklahoma bombings in 1997 and sponsored a measure that made it illegal to distribute bomb-making information for criminal purposes.
Free speech protectionists argue that the First Amendment prohibits the state from criminalizing thoughts and knowledge that are not acted on.