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FBI Issues Alert Against Almanacs

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Fly320s, Dec 30, 2003.

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  1. Fly320s

    Fly320s Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    New Hampshire
    Didn't see this posted yet.


    FBI Issues Alert Against Almanac Carriers
    By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - The FBI (news - web sites) is warning
    police nationwide to be alert for people carrying
    almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books
    covering everything from abbreviations to weather
    trends could be used for terrorist planning.

    In a bulletin sent Christmas Eve to about 18,000
    police organizations, the FBI said terrorists may use
    almanacs "to assist with target selection and
    pre-operational planning."

    It urged officers to watch during searches, traffic
    stops and other investigations for anyone carrying
    almanacs, especially if the books are annotated in
    suspicious ways.

    "The practice of researching potential targets is
    consistent with known methods of al-Qaida and other
    terrorist organizations that seek to maximize the
    likelihood of operational success through careful
    planning," the FBI wrote.

    The Associated Press obtained a copy of the bulletin
    this week and verified its authenticity.

    "For local law enforcement, it's just to help give
    them one more piece of information to raise their
    suspicions," said David Heyman, a terrorism expert for
    the Washington-based Center for Strategic and
    International Studies. "It helps make sure one more
    bad guy doesn't get away from a traffic stop, maybe
    gives police a little bit more reason to follow up on

    The FBI noted that use of almanacs or maps may be
    innocent, "the product of legitimate recreational or
    commercial activities." But it warned that when
    combined with suspicious behavior — such as apparent
    surveillance — a person with an almanac "may point to
    possible terrorist planning."

    "I don't think anyone would consider us a harmful
    entity," said Kevin Seabrooke, senior editor of The
    World Almanac. He said the reference book includes
    about a dozen pages out of its 1,000 pages total
    listing the world's tallest buildings and bridges but
    includes no diagrams or architectural schematics.
    "It's stuff that's widely available on the Internet,"
    he said.

    The publisher for The Old Farmers Almanac said Monday
    terrorists would probably find statistical reference
    books more useful than the collections of Americana in
    his famous publication of weather predictions and

    "While we doubt that our editorial content would be of
    particular interest to people who would wish to do us
    harm, we will certainly cooperate to the fullest with
    national authorities at any level they deem
    appropriate," publisher John Pierce said.

    The FBI said information typically found in almanacs
    that could be useful for terrorists includes profiles
    of cities and states and information about waterways,
    bridges, dams, reservoirs, tunnels, buildings and
    landmarks. It said this information is often
    accompanied by photographs and maps.

    The FBI urged police to report such discoveries to the
    local U.S. Joint Terrorism Task Force.

    ----- end of story --------:scrutiny:
  2. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Winter Haven, FL
    This is remarkably stupid. Excuse me while I run down to B&N to buy an Almanac for my dashboard.
  3. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

    Dec 28, 2002
  4. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

    Nov 11, 2003
    New Jersey Highlands
    I heard that they are on the lookout for toilet paper too.
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