Sunday, December 15, 2002
Ottawa approves bomb cookbook for import
The federal government says it violates neither hate nor obscenity laws.


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

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 nor obscenity laws, the Citizen reported.

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

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, had a copy.

In the heightened sensitivity to terrorism since 9/11, a Canada Customs agent intercepted a copy of the book this summer and sent it to Ottawa for review as possible hate propaganda. The department's prohibited imports section deemed it acceptable.

"How to make bombs is not hate literature," CCRA spokesperson Colette Gentes-Hawn said. "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."