US under fire over al-Qaeda guide
BBC News | July 28, 2005
By Matthew Davis
The US Department of Justice has come under fire for posting an al-Qaeda training manual on its website.
The guide, found during a raid in Manchester, England, was used as evidence in an embassy bombing trial in New York, earlier this year.
A group of London politicians has written to the US ambassador to Britain demanding the guide be withdrawn.
But an official told the BBC the US public had a right to see the manual, and that key sections had been edited.
A member of the London Assembly Conservatives stumbled upon the content of the site while doing research in the wake of the London bombings.
Richard Barnes, Conservative spokesman on Policing and Resilience, said he was "horrified" the Justice Department was promoting "full instructions on how to be an urban terrorist".
"I hope the US government will see sense and remove this immediately. We need to do everything we can to make London safe."
The manual includes advice on how to go undetected on crowded public transport, how to communicate and avoid detection by the security services, and how to transport weapons and stop deterioration of explosives.
But a Justice Department official said parts of the manual had been withheld because the JD "does not want to aid in educating terrorists or encourage further acts of terrorism".
He told the BBC that the US public had a right to know "how these groups operate and some of the methods they use".
The document was freely available on the internet and - as a piece of evidence in a US trial - through the court system.
"We have no intention of taking it down," he added. "Although if we receive a request from the British government we would obviously re-evaluate the situation."