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FBI Releases File On the Anarchist Cookbook 375

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the naughtiness-from-my-youth dept.
An anonymous reader noted that the FBI has released its file on The Anarchist Cookbook, the 1971 manual of mayhem. It's a pretty long PDF that isn't actually OCRd but there's some crazy stuff in there. But my personal favorite is the scanned in images of 3.5" floppy disks.
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FBI Releases File On the Anarchist Cookbook

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  • by WillAdams (45638) on Monday February 14, 2011 @10:21AM (#35198852) Homepage

    When my father found me reading a copy he took it and destroyed it, providing me w/ a copy of the TM 31-210 Improvised Munition Handbook instead:

    http://www.libertylib.com/improvised-munitions-handbook/improvised-munitions-handbook.shtml [libertylib.com]

    Which if nothing else should be mandatory reading for people who mistakenly believe gun control can be made to work --- I used to make black powder by collecting nitrates from underneath piles of cow manure in local fields, collecting charcoal when emptying the ashes from the fireplace and sulfur by purchasing sulfur candles from the local store (unfortunately there weren't any naturally occurring sulfur deposits w/in bicycling distance).

    William

  • by definate (876684) on Monday February 14, 2011 @10:25AM (#35198886)

    Then you should have tried the saltpeter and sugar smoke bomb. We smuggled quite a lot of saltpeter out from school. We also decided to throw in some match heads, and naphthalene (why not?). Cooked it on the oven, luckily in a small test quantity. All of a sudden, BAM, the room was full of smoke, from what was about a 50cent piece [wikipedia.org] worth of material.

    The smoke was initially red, making me think the match heads got too hot. Scared the shit out of us. A red/white cloud, that races at your face, and quickly fills the entire kitchen. Mum was shocked, and impressed.

    I'd highly recommend this recipe to anyone. Given the quantities are small enough (and given we weren't extremely lucky), we had it literally blow up right in our faces, and all we got was a little smoky, and the shock of our lives.

    Having a look at ones like this...
    saltpeter smoke bombs inside [youtube.com]
    Smoke bomb (KNO3 + Sugar) [youtube.com]

    I don't know what we did differently. Perhaps they're using a low grade KNO3, we were using lab grade stuff, and we prepared the mixtures specifically, made sure it was consistent. Also, we did a very thin, but wide mixture. Additionally, maybe the match heads (and naphthalene?) made it react quicker. Also, it reaching some temperature on the oven, might have triggered it to all ignite at once.

    Ours was more like this...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IZX80i4cpU [youtube.com]

    But in a confined space, with a fraction of the material, and it all went off at once.

    BIG BADA BOOM! (Minus boom, just menacing hissing, and fuckloads of smoke)

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Monday February 14, 2011 @10:27AM (#35198902) Journal

    Ah the book with the recipe for napalm ...

    I simply don't understand the legacy this "book" has gathered over the years. I, in my infinite youth, once read the manual and you know what jumped out at me wasn't all these alleged homemade napalm and pipe bombs ... in fact, that stuff seemed so low quality and stupid to me that I don't even remember much of it. And I've often been told the napalm in the book really isn't the best stuff you can make with homemade items. Apparently there are much better mediums to use with fuel like Vaseline (petroleum jelly) if you can get enough of it.

    But what really stuck out to my late teenage mind was how the author of it seemed to be obsessed with disruption. I remember it reading like a case study for "common" scenarios whereby you could operate within questionable circumstances to undermine regular corporate and government actions -- specifically in Western nations.

    For example, in one of the scenarios the book presupposes that you have a large contractor building some huge building right next door to your home that you refused to sell (like the beginning of the film Up). So it goes about how to put nails through strips of webbing, then lay them across the dig site at night and cover them with a bit of gravel to puncture holes in the tires of machinery. Or get used oil from your car and go spill it next to their machinery and then tip off the EPA. The list went on and on for many pages about how to sabotage several scenarios.

    And I wasn't too impressed with it. It was as if everyone thought that until this point in time no one had ever engaged in determined guerrilla warfare or an unfriendly neighborly spat. This book exhibits somewhat of an active imagination in causing trouble ... oftentimes this trouble is easily traced back to you no matter how well the book tries to convince the reader you're being super careful and are virtually untraceable.

    It simply blew my mind that someone could be arrested for possession of this book because after all the notoriety it's really not that useful. Sure, if your given scenario matches any in the books, you've got some cheap tricks at your disposal but anyone with an imagination would be far better equipped than anyone with that book. I found nothing permanently useful in that book and would recommend any of the US Army Field Manuals [wikipedia.org] for reading before that since the information is more generalized and interesting like the one on Counterinsurgency. FM 21-76 served me well in Boy Scouts -- probably better than the boy scout's manual. Why do we flip out that The Anarchist's Cookbook is available to terrorists when the Army is releasing far more useful books to anybody and everybody?

  • The true power of The Anarchist Cookbook has almost nothing to do with its contents. Matter of fact, if it were Mexican Cuisine, the Anarchist Cookbook would be day-old Taco Bell. The thing that William Powell (the original author) managed to do was accidentally come up with one of the underground's most powerful BRAND NAMES, one that could single-handedly ignite the imaginations of a typical teenager so much that it got out of his control. Once the publisher saw that it was such a money-maker, they refused to let it die. Eventually, the early crop of computer underground "anarchists" on the BBS scene took the book concept and created digital extensions of the information in the form of "G-Files" and early 8-bit graphics. By the time the Anarchist Cookbook made it to the Internet, it was no longer a book. It was a movement, one without direction or guidance or measurable intent, all loosely bound together by a set of files that had been slapped with the same Anarchist Cookbook brand name. Most of the people who downloaded the Cookbook, in whatever form, probably never tried much beyond a smoke bomb or two. The thrill was in the power of the potential of the information itself, even if it was incorrect. For the FBI to dedicate this much time studying it makes me sit back and scratch my head. Truth be told, the Central Library in any given city is far more dangerous... it just doesn't sound anywhere near as appealing to the typical kid.
  • japan and germany have tight gun control. yet japan and germany still have tragedies with guns

    but guess what? A HECK OF A LOT LESS TRAGEDIES than the usa

    that's the "makes complete sense" part you are missing. that's the whole point: less senseless deaths

    but i can hear the gun lovers now: OMG YOU HATE FREEDOM YOU ARE FASCIST WHARRRRGARBBBBL

    gee, maybe i just think the regular litany of pointless carnage in the usa is wrong? so guns should have sane controls on them? could that be my motivation?

    pfffffft

    it's like arguing with creationists about evolution when you talk about sober limitations on guns in the usa. gun onwership is not a topic you can have a sane conversation with some americans, its like a quasireligious principle to some people. pathetic

  • by Steauengeglase (512315) on Monday February 14, 2011 @12:00PM (#35199798)

    It was a bit like the Hacker's Manifesto in that it was written by a very passionate young person (William Powell, 22 at the time) that ran like wildfire amongst other passionate, like-minded (or at least very curious) young people. It also had the same reaction as H.M. when it's author went back, re-read it and was startled by how angry, foolish and idealistic they were in their youth and that almost all of that rage was caused by other sources.

    From what I've read Powell has felt very guilty about that book and he doesn't advise anyone to ever bother reading it.

  • by modecx (130548) on Monday February 14, 2011 @01:29PM (#35200778)

    So, if you take the guns away, there are many other, perhaps more effective and or more creative tools for creating mayhem and destruction. Maybe he brings a knife, and casually walks around stabbing people. [wikipedia.org], or maybe he casually walks out to the parking lot to retrieve his truck, only to casually drive it through the nightclub and the crowd waiting in front. [wikipedia.org]

    Blades don't need to be reloaded, and if you think a pocket pistol has anything on a 4,000 pound guided cruise missile, well, I'm sorry for you.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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