Canada allows import of bomb book

Tips on blasting bridges given Author admits it’s dangerous
Canadian Press, Dec. 15, 2002

OTTAWA—The federal government has approved the importation of a book that gives detailed instructions for making bombs and blowing up bridges, the Ottawa Citizen reported yesterday.

Even the author of The Anarchist Cookbook has renounced it as “misguided and potentially dangerous.” But the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency says there is nothing to prevent its sale in Canada because it violates neither the hate law nor obscenity law, the newspaper reported.

First published in 1971, the book has been a cult classic for 30 years, popular with self-styled rebels and teenage mischief-makers alike.

It addresses subjects as varied as growing marijuana, making TNT, sabotaging communications systems, knocking out suspension bridges and brewing nitroglycerine.

Timothy McVeigh, who in 1995 used a home-made bomb to blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City, owned a copy the book.

McVeigh, who said he planted the bomb to teach the U.S. government a lesson, was sentenced to death for killing 168 people. He was executed in June, 2001.

In the heightened sensitivity to terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001 strikes, a Canada Customs agent intercepted a copy of the book sometime this summer and sent it to Ottawa for review as possible hate propaganda.

It was deemed acceptable by the department’s prohibited imports section.

“How to make bombs is not hate literature,” said Colette Gentes-Hawn, a customs agency spokesperson.

“It’s not pretty and it’s not nice, but neither are serial-killer trading cards. They’re not within the pattern of what is prohibited,” she said.

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