Dhiren Barot - life sentence for impractical "movie plot" terrorist plans ?

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The conviction of Dhiren Barot, leading to a life sentence with a tariff of 40 years before being eligible for parole, is remarkable. He appears to have been an active terrorist plotter, but just how much of a real threat are his alleged , detailed, professional plots ?

From the media reports, none of these alleged plots, appear to as well researched or as detailed, as those in the books and films by authors such as Tom Clancy - should he and his researchers and co-authors also be serving 40 years or more in prison ?

Given that many of the readers of Spy Blog (or of Tom Clancy novels) have at least as much knowledge of potential targets and techniques as Dhiren Barot appears to have had, we are worried about this "thought crime" conviction with no actual evidence of means and capability to put into action any of the "movie plots", which he appears to have been researching. Just because he pleaded guilty, presumably for the purposes of self martyrdom, this is only evidence of evil intent, not of an actual, realistic, threat.

We are sceptical about the practicality of any of the various "movie plots" which the British media and authorities and legal system seem to have taken for granted would inevitably cause "thousands of casualties".

As with all recent terrorism cases, there has been a flurry of "background" information (not actual evidence used in Court) released to the media , after the trial is over, mostly from anonymous and therefore untrustworthy "security sources".

It is noticeable that the supposedly "cooperative" Al Queda "computer and communications" expert, Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, whose arrest seems to have triggered that of Dhiren Barot, was not called as a witness from Pakistan, where he may well have been coerced or tortured.

The TV news media showed their weakness for moving images, any scrap of video, no matter how incidental or irrelevant, which they will repeat over and over again, drawing the wrong conclusions from it.

In this case it was a few seconds of an utterly amateur video taken in the deserted streets around the New York Stock Exchange, zooming in ineptly on a CCTV pan tilt zoom camera dome. The footage was obviously taken on foot, from the pavement, with nobody else about, rather than,, say from a vehicle. If this was meant to be "professional terrorist" target reconnaissance, then we have little to fear.

There was also a shot of the World Trade Center towers taken with the camera on its side, and the audio sound of someone saying "boom". There was also a shot of what look like a couple of unpressurised stainless steel liquid nitrogen flasks / gas containers on the pavement.

The impression given by the media was that Barot was somehow planning to blow up and topple the Twin Towers, but it could also have been a reference to the previous 1993 failed attempt, which did cause lots of damage and casualties, but which had no realistic chance of toppling the buildings .

There are no allegations that Dhiren Barot was involved in, or had prior knowledge of, the September 11th 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon etc.

The most important feature of this video clip is not the titbit that it was apparently found spliced into a Bruce Willis "Die Hard" video to help conceal it (why was it not encrypted, if this really was such a professional terrorist ?).

The aspect which is studiously not being reported or commented on by the UK media, is that this video "evidence" of a plot, was shot in April 2001, and obtained 3 years later in 2004 in Pakistan.

This "new and unusually specific information" was the basis of the decision by the Tom Ridge, in charge of the US Department of Homeland Security to increase the Terrorist Alert status to "Orange" , around the financial districts of New York, New Jersey and Washington, just after Democratic Party Convention had raised the standing of Senator Kelly in the opinion polls, during the 2004 Presidential Election, and before the Republican Party Convention.

Magically the the terrorist alert status and increased, yet counter-productive, security measures (they created long queues of CitiBank employees which stretched out into the street, thereby increasing their vulnerability to a car bomb or drive by shooting or sniper attack) around these buildings, were relaxed on November 10th 2004, i.e. after the Presidential Election held on 2nd November 2004.

In other words this 3 year old video footage was cynically hyped up for political opinion poll advantage, to pretend that the USA was under a current, imminent, threat to these financial sector buildings even though the alleged terrorist masterminds were in custody in the UK and in Pakistan.

Someone in the UK appears to have released an edited version of what was claimed to be Dhiren Barot's "business case" to his unnamed Al Quaeda superiors of his most advanced idea - the "gas limos" plot to the Press Association

Was this written in English or another language ?

Gas cylinders in a stretched limo (which have a large carrying capacity, but are able to get into an underground car park with height restrictions which would prevent a van or lorry from doing so), with explosives attached, supposedly to create a large gas explosion ?

This has been a vain hope of terrorists for years, and is similar to the foiled attack on the US Embassy in Damascus, Syria involved this September 2006

No terrorist bomb makers, not even sophisticated ones like the IRA, with years of experience and practice of using ammonium nitrate, petrol tankers, gas cylinders etc. have ever managed to transform commercial gas cylinders into the equivalent of military Fuel Air Explosives or Thermobaric weapons, which might have a chance of collapsing a large office building. Getting an fuel aerosol or gas cloud mixed with the right proportion of oxidiser, is not as simple as attaching some explosives to a gas cylinder.

Neither is it as simple as having electronically controlled release valves to produce a gas cloud, with a delayed detonation circuit, as was demonstrated by the recent failed "suitcase bomb" attacks on German railway stations this July 2006.

Why should anyone believe that Dhiren Barot could manage this first time, from a standing start, with no practice ? We note that the "budget" in his "business plan" does not seem to include anything for actual weapons development and testing.

We are extremely sceptical of the other alleged "business cases" for supposed terrorist plots.

Are these in fact deliberate disinformation to let the hysterical media cause panic and terror, by fingering many possible targets, which are impractical to actually attack ?

Or are they just brainstorming ideas, which have been discarded after a bit of detailed investigation as to their practicality and feasibility ?

It is all very well to claim that a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD) i.e. a "dirty bomb", could be useful to a terrorist in order to cause panic and fear and economic damage, but creating and deploying one is another matter altogether.

Dhiren Barot's apparently favoured source of radioactive material i.e. Americium241 Oxide from domestic smoke detectors is is utterly impractical, given the thousands of such smoke detectors he would have had to purchase or steal, without arousing suspicion. It is all very well for his alleged notes to state the obvious e.g. that a highly radioactive gamma source like Cobalt 60 would make a very effective RDD "dirty bomb", but there is no evidence that he had any realistic prospect of getting access to this, or to the "hot cell" which would be needed to protect anyone trying to construct such a device, without, as he apparently notes, killing even suicide terrorists before they have completed their mission.

If you were a senior Al Quaeda, leader, who did actually have access to some, say, Cobalt 60 radioactive isotopes, would you hand them over to an Indian born convert to Islam, with British citienship, or would your natural caution and racism make you suspect that he could be an Indian or British or other intelligence agent trying to track down any nuclear weapons or radiioactive "dirty bomb" plans and materials you may have ?

The other "movie plot" idea which the UK media seem to have latched on to is the idea of somehow, magically, creating a large enough explosion to breach the London Underground tunnels which go under the River Thames.

This plays on the understandable fears of many people of being trapped in a Tube train with rising flood waters under the Thames (most people do not think of the risk of flooding or tunnel collapse in other parts of the London Underground, e.g. from burst water mains). However, the amount of explosive required, without any drilling to position explosive charges in the tunnel roof, to breach several metres of reinforced concrete, steel casing and bedrock, would be huge, and would require the hijacking of an entire train, and probably of the signalling and electrical power control rooms as well. If you could do that (or have a huge bomb on board a river vessel, or a military aircraft dropped deep penetration "bunker buster" bomb) then, you could easily cause far more casualties or hit more sensitive targets, than by flooding part of the Tube network.

If this plan was seriously being considered, then why was the supposedly meticulous Dhiren Barot not also investigating other underground railways which pass under rivers or the sea e.g. Paris or New York ? Why not the Channel Tunnel ?

Our suspicion that Dhiren Barot was employing disinformation techniques to point the finger at targets which he was not really going after is strengthened by the reports that the Police recovered 600 sets of keys (not cryptographic keys, actual metal keys) and spent lots of time and effort searching 4,000 lockup garages and storage facilities which they might have opened, but have only found 77 of them so far. No weapons or explosives or radioactive sources appear to have been found in any of these.

This case does not prove the case for an even longer period pre-charge detention period than the current 28 days - he was successfully charged and convicted under the previous 14 days regime.

Barot, who has not been shown to have committed any terrorist or other attacks in the UK, whatsoever, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for at least 40 years, without any access to explosives, firearms, chemical , biological or radioactive materials in his possession, or any evidence that his "movie plot" ideas had ever got to the prototype or trial run stage.

So what if there are still unencrypted data files on some computer hard disks, which could possibly lead to further charges, they cannot lead to further criminal penalties !

We note the claims that Dhiren Barot used several false identities,

Exactly how many of these were false British identities, involving either Passports or Driving Licences, i.e. ones which a perfectly working National Identity Register and ID Card scheme might have had a chance of detecting ?

We suspect that none of them are in this category, and that the Dhiren Barot case cannot be used to justify the claim that somehow the controversial National Identity Register will be of any ise in preventing terrorist attacks.

We noted that fingerprint and DNA analysis was used to check which chemical hazard reference books Dhiren Barot had consulted in various University reference libraries, e.g. at Brunel University.

Does this mean that the fingerprints, DNA and library records of all the students and staff who have also consulted these books are now also on file as "potential terrorists" ? Will Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) websites and legally required health and safety training materials, be censored under the Terrorism Act 2006 or the forthcoming European Commission proposals to censor "bomb making instructional websites" ?

Even if Barot had somehow succeeded in causing hundreds or thousands of casualties, he would still have utterly failed to destroy our Western democratic civilisation.

28 Comments

Any of you readers is free to go and do some editing on the following article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Financial_buildings_plot

I've seen the articles all over the press. I can't believe how poor our level of journalism is in this country. Maybe it's something to do with the complete lack of interest in science and engineering people have these days that they seem to have no curiousity for these plans.

You can imagine this happening back in the 60's when science was cool, someone would bother to do the back-of-the-envelope calculations, and they'd be reported in the newspapers.

The government simply makes statements that defy the laws of basic physics, and they print it verbatim. This comes on the heels of the plot to blow up 10 airlines this summer where no such chemicals exist with the necessary properties. It's like they're going for a full house, after insulting the field of biology with the no-ricin plot of 2003.

I can't tell if the lack of interest is deliberate, or due to laziness. Suppose a really intricate and practical plot were uncovered which could have actually worked, would the press go into the details it with fascination for the engineering?

It's like everyone knows these are Hollywood movie plots, and you don't bother to question them because you know they are only for the entertainment, and don't really exist. Wouldn't actually viably realistic stunts in the movies be more interesting than this unimaginative made-up stuff?

Imagine if Barot could have got through this childish phase of wanting to commit terrorism and decided to use this material to write a movie script.

I am troubled by the idea of being convicted for a plot that I could have typed up on my computer, and then deleted because I changed my mind and thought it was a bad idea.

I'm all for using information in deleted files to track down the whereabouts of explosives, say. But getting done for "gathering information likely to be useful to terrorism" which you then threw away is a bit much.

Back of an envelope calculations are fun on these occasions as indeed I, an engineer manque, managed to prove in a few minutes with wikipedia and Google's incredibly handy unit conversion function, that the official line is baloney, at least as far as the 'dirty bomb' part is concerned. For an encore I'd like to estimate the explosive power of a 'gas limo' and compare it to the loads on a modern concrete-framed building.

There are only two explanations - Mr. Barot is so dangerous that he set up a highly detailed decoy that a two-year police investigation failed to penetrate and that has fooled the entire press (ok, that bit's easy), or that he's a deluded fantasist. I tend to the latter option.

Thanks to whoever linked this spyblog piece and my Blairwatch one from earlier on wikipedia. Fame at last!

Just a trivial point worth circulating -- If the plans were complete gibberish, how could they be against the law that "it is an offence to collect information likely to be useful to a terrorist" ?

Whether or not Barot was stupid enough to believe his plans were useful is immaterial, otherwise they're prosecuting him for thought-crime. It's like writing hate letters in your private diary about how much you want to murder your boss, and speculating about how you could get away with it.

Al-Qaeda probably has to deal with fan-letters sent to them by losers from all over the world like this. It's like people sending tapes of their own music to their favourite rock band. Had it not been sent to the double-agent Noor Khan, it would have probably been filed straight in the bin. We've got no evidence that this plot actually went any further.

Say, what happens if I post a letter to "Mr. Laden, Rue de Taliban, Afghanistan". Maybe I get a note back from Santa Claus at the North Pole.

On the subject of Dhiren Barot/Abu Musa al-Hindi (same guy, apparently), see the Kurt Nimmo article Abu Musa al-Hindi: Another Patsy Bites the Dust.

I think that Barot's incarceration for 40 years is to bury any connections to the London July 05 events. It was reported (July 14, 2005, ABC News) that Mohammad Sidique Khan was in contact with the Barot's 'Luton cell' through the shadowy figure of Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan.

Oh what a tangled web.........

40 years for thoughcrime.....

@ Julian - read some of the heavily censored "plans" (.pdf) for yourself on the Metropolitan Police's Press page on "Operation Rhyme":

http://www.met.police.uk/pressbureau/rhyme/

They are not complete gibberish, but it is hard to see how they could have caused hundreds or thousands of casualties.

The reconnaissance reports on the Financial Buildings in the USA are relatively detailed, and in a standard format under chapter headings of e.g.:

a. Military (Defense Position)
b. Fire Departments
c. Police Precincts
d. Polar Directions
(i.e. which way is North)
e. Schools and Libraries
(heavily censored, even though the other public information in this list is not)
f. Hospitals
g. Airports
h. City, People, Religion and Culture
i. Cameras
j. Near Fixed Structures (including Garbage bins)
k. Near Temporary Structures
l. Far Fixed Structures
m. Churches, Synagogues, Mosques Etc.
n. Flow Of Traffic
o. Flow of Pedestrians
p. Street Names
q. Traffic Signals
r. Power Stations and Maintenance
s. Government Offices
t. Hotels
u. Escape Routes
v. Published Comments About CitiGroup Center
w. Reconnaissance
x. Recommendations
y. Miscellaneous
z. Further Sources Of Information

Barot appears to be a diligent observer, but his claims that he has "left no stone unturned" in compiling his detailed reports are obviously false or self delusional.

Although such information might be alluded to in the censored portions of the reports, there are no specific chapter headings for either vulnerable key personnel or the vulnerable telecomms and computer infrastructures without which these Financial Buildings could not operate.

He does not appear to have engaged in much, if any "social engineering" of security or maintenance staff or picked up any gossip from people working in or near the buildings,

It is interesting that the censor chose to leave visible a reference to an anti-corporate protest group who monitor CitiGroup and have held demonstrations at their buildings. The reference to

"These anarchists may be handy for us at some point "

has not been censored and presumably means that this group will now be under suspicion and surveillance.

Barot does appear to give the option of reduced civilian casualty in some of his vague "plans", and his details of escape routes obviously mean that, in April 2001, he was not considering suicide attacks on these buildings.

How he expected to topple, the CitiCorp plaza building in New York with a vehicle bomb near one of the seven and half metre diameter reinforced concrete piers, is a mystery - blow all the windows out in the entire street, yes, but topple the building - no.

Tellingly, each of the reports ends with:

Agent

E-a-B

preceded sometimes with a sentence or paragraph about the risks which he undertook in the reconnaissance, and a line about the "Cover" e.g. student/tourist he used.

This does rather point to a "wannabe secret agent" mentality.

The "Gas Limos" plan rightly mentions details such as the pressure release safety features of commercial gas cylinders, but there is no evidence that he has any practical experience with realistic prototypes or weapons engineering data.

He does make a claim that he participated (with 3 others) in an attack on an army summer fort in Kashmir, using a censored amount of TNT with "programmed time pencil boxes" (i.e. proper commercial or military detonators) augmented by a censored amount of "Propane gas, leaked and ignited", and claims "15 -20 casualties i.e. killed"

Obviously he had no access to any TNT and proper detonators in the UK .

His emphasis on rusty nail shrapnel (influenced by the neo-nazi terrorist David Copeland's attacks with firework sourced gunpowder and shrapnel bombs in Soho and Brixton) shows that cannot have been thinking of Fuel Air Explosives or Thermobaric weapons.

Somehow the censors have not blacked out the sentence:

"The security in the UK is probably the tightest in the world"

as part of his argument that if the "Gas Limos" plan could be made to work in London, it could also work anywhere else in the world.

The RDD "dirty bomb" stuff does show that he has been studying past accidents etc. involving radioactive contamination, but his claim that the "nuclear standards agencies" are somehow misrepresenting the level of risk posed by Americium in domestic smoke detectors i.e. that you would need "a million" of them to produce an effective "dirty bomb", so as to discourage wannabe terrorists from trying, does seem peculiar.

Strangely, his alleged document makes two references to the non-existant "Americium-147", rather than isostope Americium-241 which is what is used in smoke detectors, something which rather casts doubt on Barot's knowledge of chemistry.

His stated plan to gather 10,000 domestic smoke detectors in 10 months, should, one feels, have been allowed to proceed, to the point where the terrorist team (does it exist ?) had gathered more smoke detectors than anyone would reasonably need, thereby providing some actual evidence of terrorism, without really endangering the public.

Surely the UK police are capable of tracking down unusual purchases of thousands of smoke detectors ?

The "plan" to flood the London Underground, which the media seized upon, is no such thing, it just looks like a passing reference in Dhiren Barot's "other ideas" appendix to his "Gas Limos" plan, which has not even been investigated slightly.

There is a reference to using gas cylinder bombs on trains e.g. Heathrow Express, despite noting the very short journey time (London Paddington to / from Heathrow in about 20 minutes)

There is also a single uncensored paragraph:

"Another good train line in London is the one which runs through the 'Greenwich' area. This particular train actually travels under the bed of the 'River Thames' half way through its journey. Many people use it since it is close to central London. One can imagine the chaos that would be caused if a powerful explosion were to rip through here and actually rupture through to the river itself. This would cause pandemonium, what with all the explosions, flooding and drowning etc. that would occur/result"

That is it - the whole "movie plot" so called "plan", untainted by any shred of practicality.

How have the media, and even the Police and Prosecution got so hyped up by this alleged threat, unless there is a deliberate hidden agenda ?

Is this deliberate disinformation to waste Police resources, chasing up blind alleys ? Remember that IRA terrorists used to do things like, circling half a dozen names in a copy of "Who's Who", which they would leave behind in their hideouts, forcing Police protection resources to be wasted on protecting VIP targets who were never really the true targets of the terrorists.

Or is it just another brainstorming remark, which has not even been considered in detail, let alone accepted or rejected as a viable threat ?


The interesting thing about the tube plot is that there isn't an underwater tube line in Greenwich - there's one in 'North Greenwich', between Canary Wharf and the Dome and another between the Dome and Canning Town, on the Jubilee Line Extension.

There is a short tunnel under the Thames at Greenwich for the Docklands Light Railway, which wouldn't flood central London if it was breached, since the line rises out of the tunnel fairly quickly at each end (there's Cutty Sark station box at the southern end, which would probably be mostly underwater, but that's it).

Presuming he picked the Jubilee Line, that's a good long way from the rest of London and it's unlikely a breach there would cause flooding beyond the Jubilee Line heading north and west. After all, I think all tube lines have heavy water doors at Thames crossing points, and there's another one of these between North Greenwich and London. Additionally, the JLE is the most modern tube line on the network and thus presumably the best built with regards to strength and safety, which makes it another odd choice for a terrorist. It's certainly the line with the best escape facilities and the largest, most open stations, which would thus take longer to flood and allow more escape time.

I'm still taken by how well copy-edited the documents are. Either they were done professionally, or he went over them again and again over months, reading them out loud, and getting ready to make his Powerpoint presentation to Mr Laden in Pakistan and win an essay prize.

So far the entire media has run with this ridiculous story without any mention that it's all quite silly. I've tracked much sillier terrorist plots in America as well, and doubt it's part of a conspiracy.

I think it's to do with the massive over-expansion of the budgets of FBI and MI5 for the GWoT, coupled with the utter desperation of politicians to have some plots to talk about, that makes such low-quality cases a certainty. It must be chaos working in those organizations. I don't understand why the media is covering up for them.

Mind you, there's this from:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/4314087.html

"The Associated Press, The British Broadcasting Corp., and Times Newspapers Ltd. successfully challenged a court ruling that threatened to prevent news media reporting details of Barot's sentencing hearing."

Does anyone have any details? What reporting did they want to prevent? I mean, with all of that evidence posted up on the Met webpage, and the success with a guilty plea and 40 year sentence, what could have possibly been their problem?

I've worked it out:

"Justice Butterfield had ruled that publishing details of the case could prejudice trials of Barot's seven co-defendants, to take place next April."

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20720246-2703,00.html

What's going to take them so long?

@ Julian - one has to ask why so many terrorism cases take so long, at least 2 years, before the Court system can be bothered to deal with them.

What higher priority cases can there possibly be ?

Surely there needs to be an increased investment in the Courts system, commensurate with the increases in expenditure on the Police Counter-Terrorism and Security Services ?

Well, there's the 400 hard drives to print out, stack into a pile X high and go through manually, as Tony Blair tried to claim a few months back.

Actually, given the workload of high-level courts, it's likely the delay is part-deliberate, to give the impression of a continuous terrorist campaign (this one largely predates 9/11, of course). The prosecution presumably applies for a particular date and the judge grants it. Thus the timing of cases is essentially down to when the police and security services want it to come out. In most cases there aren't any actual victims to go running to newspapers wondering where their justice has gone, of course, which gives them a nice free hand.

I'm still waiting to find out what the 21/7 guys had in their backpacks - when's that likely to come to trial? I'd originally heard October. There's the fertiliser-in-warehouse case, too, which is still ongoing. Careful timing could keep some Bad Guy in court for as long as Eliza Bullying-Manner wants.

You're idiots to defend a man who would actively admit to wanting to kill that many people.

If the intention is there, it's a crime.

To defend impulses to cause mass death and grief (that your article claims are commonplace), is to unknowlingly speak of your own maladjustment. If you had a life of your own that you actually found worth living - which is your task, and know one elses - then you wouldn't find your mind wandering through what you call 'movie plots'. Another term for 'movie plot', is a pathetic desire to lash out at innocent people, to make yourself feel stronger.

Why don't you read something more intelligent than Tom Clancy novels, as a start?

@ John - nobody is defending Barot

If the intention is there, it's a crime

It is only a "thought crime", and without the means or even the technical knowledge, which appears to be lacking in this case, that does not constitute a major terrorist threat which would kill "hundreds or thousands" of people, as has been hyped up in the press.

The danger with convicting people of "thought crimes", without any hard evidence of access to weapons or explosives or radioactive isotopes etc. is that once the bureaucrats and politicians get a taste for it, then any political opponents can be persecuted as "enemies of the state", and the terrorists will have won.

Which part of Barot's "10,000 smoke detectors" plot or the non-existent Tube flooding plan do you find credible ?

Why don't you read something more intelligent than Tom Clancy novels, as a start?

Why don't you read something more accurate than tabloid newspapers ?

yeah, I don't think anyone on here is defending terrorists. It seems like your having a go at people for questioning the way things are developing. Its more important than ever that intelligent people do exactly that.

'To defend impulses to cause mass death and grief (that your article claims are commonplace), is to unknowlingly speak of your own maladjustment.'

Do you defend your own government that have actually had a hand in killing perhaps hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Their only crime, it seems was to live in a country run by another killer. They now seek to tell us that this has had NOTHING to do with the current terrorist threat against us, but by the way, there IS a devil around every corner waiting to kill us. The whole thing stinks.

It seems that we are told (scary) details of terrorist trials when it suits them (e.g. Ricin Plot - & that trial collapsed!).

With respect to the Operation Crevice (Regina v Omar Khayam etc.) trial (reporting of which has gone very quiet, how many people are aware of this report in the UK Times Family claims MI5 ordered teenagers to go to Pakistan, two days after the arrest of the 'Operation Crevice' suspects in March 2004.

The July 21st non-bombs trial which was intended to commence on 9/10/06, has now been delayed until 11/1/07).

If the intention is there, it's a crime.

Not all crimes are equal, and my interest in this case is rather because the man got life with forty years before parole for a crime with no victims. Considering that the worst serial killers tend to get this or less and that the Lockerbie bomber (leaving aside questions of how safe the conviction is) got life with a minimum of 27 for actually being found guilty of one of the worst terrorist crimes ever I'm interested to know exactly how dangerous Mr. Barot was. The answer I come up with (with no reliance of Tom Clancy, whom I've never read, but a certain amount on chemistry textbooks, which I have) is 'not very'.

Conspiracy to murder doesn't require that the crime conspired towards is actually possible, but elevating Mr. Barot to the level of 'terrorist' on the basis of this case seems a bit specious at best. My doubts are not so much over the guilt or innocence of Mr. Barot but with the accuracy and amount of coverage in the press and the pronouncements of public figures (police, politicians, prosecution and judge), which when read in conjunction with the known facts of the case and of physics, rather expose themselves as bollocks.

Another very valid point of view is that we are only served by security services who do their officially designated job well, and don't just generate useless (to our personal safety interests) propaganda.

This requires people to hold them to the highest possible standards, and not swallow any old shit that they choose to feed us. Otherwise we will get what we deserve, and actually be -- avoidably -- blown up by terrorists while the government keeps us entertained with fairy-tales.

I'm quite happy that this fellow is behind bars. Admittedly he didn't have the means, and the smoke alarms thing is especially ridiculous, but he certainly seems to have had the motivation. Anyone who seriously intends to cause death on any scale and takes some steps to try to carry out their plan, however ineptly, is a potential menace to society.

This guy may have been the Mr Bean or the terrorist world, taking videos of buildings and making silly explosive noises, but who is to say that sooner of later he might have accidented upon a plan which might actually have worked.

@ Bob - on Wednesday, the Queen's Speech will no doubt announce Yet More Repressive Legislation, and there will be media spin using this case to somehow "justify" a further loss of privacy. liberty, freedom and ultimately security, not of guilty terrorist criminals, but of the innocent majority of people in the UK.

Barot should certainly be in prison for plotting to kill and injure innocent people, but is a life sentence with a 40 year tariff before parole can be considered, really justified ?

That is 10 years more than the Kray twins, and, as has already been pointed out, more than Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, convicted of killing 270 people in the Lockerbie Pan Am flight 103 bomb disaster, who only got a 27 year tariff to his life sentence.

Meanwhile, British computer hacker and UFO fan Gary McKinnon, is facing extradition to the USA and a possible sentence of at least 60 years in prison.


Barot claims to have carried out a lot of detailed research but a lot of what he wrote in his "reports" was just plaigiarized from internet sources.

Take the Radiation Dispersal Device Report. You can download a copy here...

http://www.met.police.uk/pressbureau/rhyme/index.htm

His "months of research" consisted of copying a load of tables and
information from the following report....

http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/opapers/op11/

Section from the Commercial Radioactive Sources: Surveying the Security
Risks. Charles D. Ferguson, Tahseen Kazi, and Judith Perera. January
2003. Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

The odd thing is the police have censored information from the Barot report - even thought it's in the public domain in the Center for Nonproliferation Studies report.

@ Reporter - The censorship of the documents which Barot has admitted to having written, does seem peculiar - it is not the case , for example, that every numerical figure or quantity has been systematically censored.

A large section of Barot's "dirty bomb" document has been cribbed from the public domain paper,

This paper does not provide a "teerorist cookbook recipe" for a "dirty bomb".

I've just discovered this site. At last, objective intelligent views.

Re Barot, I read somewhere that the prosecution acknowledged he hadn't recieved any funding from al qaeda.

If true, it speaks for itself.

Barot's sentence has been reduced somewhat on appeal

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6661371.stm

He is still imprisoned for life, but now with a 30 year tariff instead of 40 years.

Well now someone has just attempted to set off a gas cylinder bomb in London. Two in fact. They did not work. Not surprising thank heavens. Propane is heavier than air. It would sink to the floor. Propane/air mix has to be between two limits to explode. These bombers look to be lemon heads not realising these basic facts. Probably English educated by the secondary school system that does not promote students actually listening to the teacher. My guess is that with one hot filament on the seat of a car it might take at least 100 goes before a propane explosion occurs. Let's hope so anyway.

The following quote is from Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's paper 'Inside the Crevice (containing sections originally redacted in his 2006 book 'The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry [2006] - unredacted sections & further commentary published in September 2007 as a briefing report primarily for key UK parliamentary committees, especially the Intelligence & Security Committee, Home Affairs Committee, Defence Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, and Communities & Local Government Committee).

The briefing paper suggests that one of those associated with the Dhiren Barot gang [8 out of 13 arrested] who was allowed to escapewas Mohammad Sidique Khan.

Indeed, by August 2004, another 13 young Britons of Pakistani origin were identified as terrorist suspects in Luton. Eight were arrested in an attempt to foil a terrorist plot discovered on the laptop computer of Naeem Noor Khan, a captured al-Qaeda leader in Lahore, Pakistan. Once again, five unidentified individuals evaded arrest: among them was Mohammad Sidique Khan. This was the notorious multi-targeted plot led by convicted al-Qaeda terrorist Dhiren Barot, aimed at financial buildings in New York and Washington...

Criminals should suffer for the rest of their lives.

The Court of Appeal seems to have agreed with us that the "Gas Limos Plot" and the "Radioactive Smoke Detector Fire" plot, and the even sketchier "Flood the Tube" idea, whilst obviously potentially very dangerous, were completely exaggerated by the prosecution and the media in terms of them being a viable threat, which could cause hundreds or thousands of deaths.

Obviously the intention for evil was proven, but the "Climate of Fear" headlines only served to aid the terrorists, something which is proven by the fact that Barot did not want his defence team to cast doubt on the viability of his plans.

The Court has reduced Dhiren Barot's minimum term in prison from 40 years to 30 years accordingly.

See : Barot v R [2007] EWCA Crim 1119 (16 May 2007)

The government is consistently hyping these 'terrorist' incidents to extend their ever increasing range of "security measures", to the detriment of the vast majority of UK citizens.

They are using these examples for political advantage to justify new snooping laws, ID cards and so on. They must believe that the British public is stupid, then perhaps we are, because we are commenting on it, but do little about it. We should all be lobbying our MP's.

What is strange, is that the 'opposition' MP's are saying virtually nothing, presumably because they don't want to be seen as soft. Well they are, we have seen a steady and consistent reduction is our civil liberties as we quickly become a police state. Time for everyone to make their voice heard I think.

About this blog

This United Kingdom based blog attempts to draw public attention to, and comments on, some of the current trends in ever cheaper and more widespread surveillance technology being deployed to satisfy the rapacious demand by state and corporate bureaucracies and criminals for your private details, and the technological ignorance of our politicians and civil servants who frame our legal systems.

The hope is that you the readers, will help to insist that strong safeguards for the privacy of the individual are implemented, especially in these times of increased alert over possible terrorist or criminal activity. If the systems which should help to protect us can be easily abused to supress our freedoms, then the terrorists will have won.

We know that there are decent, honest, trustworthy individual politicians, civil servants, law enforcement, intelligence agency personnel and broadcast, print and internet journalists etc., who often feel powerless or trapped in the system. They need the assistance of external, detailed, informed, public scrutiny to help them to resist deliberate or unthinking policies, which erode our freedoms and liberties.

Email & PGP Contact

Please feel free to email your views about this blog, or news about the issues it tries to comment on.

blog@spy[dot]org[dot]uk

Our PGP public encryption key is available for those correspondents who wish to send us news or information in confidence, and also for those of you who value your privacy, even if you have got nothing to hide.

We wiil use this verifiable public key (the ID is available on several keyservers, twitter etc.) to establish initial contact with whistleblowers and other confidential sources, but will then try to establish other secure, anonymous communications channels, as appropriate.

Current PGP Key ID: 0x122B3C4FD0BD0FB3 which will expire on 1st October 2018.

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You can download a free copy of the PGP encryption software from www.pgpi.org
(available for most of the common computer operating systems, and also in various Open Source versions like GPG)

We look forward to the day when UK Government Legislation, Press Releases and Emails etc. are Digitally Signed so that we can be assured that they are not fakes. Trusting that the digitally signed content makes any sense, is another matter entirely.

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Political Dissidents

Please take the appropriate precautions if you are planning to blow the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g. see Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers - or use this easier to remember link: http://ht4w.co.uk

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

Digital Security & Privacy for Human Rights Defenders manual, by Irish NGO Frontline Defenders.

Everyone’s Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship for Citizens Worldwide (.pdf - 31 pages), by the Citizenlab at the University of Toronto.

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents - March 2008 version - (2.2 Mb - 80 pages .pdf) by Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Guide to Covering the Beijing Olympics by Human Rights Watch.

A Practical Security Handbook for Activists and Campaigns (v 2.6) (.doc - 62 pages), by experienced UK direct action political activists

Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress & Tor - useful step by step guide with software configuration screenshots by Ethan Zuckerman at Global Voices Advocacy. (updated March 10th 2009 with the latest Tor / Vidalia bundle details)

Links

Watching Them, Watching Us

London 2600

Our UK Freedom of Information Act request tracking blog

WikiLeak.org - ethical and technical discussion about the WikiLeaks.org project for anonymous mass leaking of documents etc.

Privacy and Security

Privacy International
United Kingdom Privacy Profile (2011)

Cryptome - censored or leaked government documents etc.

Identity Project report by the London School of Economics
Surveillance & Society the fully peer-reviewed transdisciplinary online surveillance studies journal

Statewatch - monitoring the state and civil liberties in the European Union

The Policy Laundering Project - attempts by Governments to pretend their repressive surveillance systems, have to be introduced to comply with international agreements, which they themselves have pushed for in the first place

International Campaign Against Mass Surveillance

ARCH Action Rights for Children in Education - worried about the planned Children's Bill Database, Connexions Card, fingerprinting of children, CCTV spy cameras in schools etc.

Foundation for Information Policy Research
UK Crypto - UK Cryptography Policy Discussion Group email list

Technical Advisory Board on internet and telecomms interception under RIPA

European Digital Rights

Open Rights Group - a UK version of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a clearinghouse to raise digital rights and civil liberties issues with the media and to influence Governments.

Digital Rights Ireland - legal case against mandatory EU Comms Data Retention etc.

Blindside - "What’s going to go wrong in our e-enabled world? " blog and wiki and Quarterly Report will supposedly be read by the Cabinet Office Central Sponsor for Information Assurance. Whether the rest of the Government bureaucracy and the Politicians actually listen to the CSIA, is another matter.

Biometrics in schools - 'A concerned parent who doesn't want her children to live in "1984" type society.'

Human Rights

Liberty Human Rights campaigners

British Institute of Human Rights
Amnesty International
Justice

Prevent Genocide International

asboconcern - campaign for reform of Anti-Social Behavior Orders

Front Line Defenders - Irish charity - Defenders of Human Rights Defenders

Internet Censorship

OpenNet Initiative - researches and measures the extent of actual state level censorship of the internet. Features a blocked web URL checker and censorship map.

Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

Reporters without Borders internet section - news of internet related censorship and repression of journalists, bloggers and dissidents etc.

Judicial Links

British and Irish Legal Information Institute - publishes the full text of major case Judgments

Her Majesty's Courts Service - publishes forthcoming High Court etc. cases (but only in the next few days !)

House of Lords - The Law Lords are currently the supreme court in the UK - will be moved to the new Supreme Court in October 2009.

Information Tribunal - deals with appeals under FOIA, DPA both for and against the Information Commissioner

Investigatory Powers Tribunal - deals with complaints about interception and snooping under RIPA - has almost never ruled in favour of a complainant.

Parliamentary Opposition

The incompetent yet authoritarian Labour party have not apologised for their time in Government. They are still not providing any proper Opposition to the current Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition government, on any freedom or civil liberties or privacy or surveillance issues.

UK Government

Home Office - "Not fit for purpose. It is inadequate in terms of its scope, it is inadequate in terms of its information technology, leadership, management systems and processes" - Home Secretary John Reid. 23rd May 2006. Not quite the fount of all evil legislation in the UK, but close.

No. 10 Downing Street Prime Minister's Official Spindoctors

Public Bills before Parliament

United Kingdom Parliament
Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons.

House of Commons "Question Book"

UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

FaxYourMP - identify and then fax your Member of Parliament
WriteToThem - identify and then contact your Local Councillors, members of devolved assemblies, Member of Parliament, Members of the European Parliament etc.
They Work For You - House of Commons Hansard made more accessible ? UK Members of the European Parliament

Read The Bills Act - USA proposal to force politicians to actually read the legislation that they are voting for, something which is badly needed in the UK Parliament.

Bichard Inquiry delving into criminal records and "soft intelligence" policies highlighted by the Soham murders. (taken offline by the Home Office)

ACPO - Association of Chief Police Officers - England, Wales and Northern Ireland
ACPOS Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland

Online Media

Boing Boing

Need To Know [now defunct]

The Register

NewsNow Encryption and Security aggregate news feed
KableNet - UK Government IT project news
PublicTechnology.net - UK eGovernment and public sector IT news
eGov Monitor

Ideal Government - debate about UK eGovernment

NIR and ID cards

Stand - email and fax campaign on ID Cards etc. [Now defunct]. The people who supported stand.org.uk have gone on to set up other online tools like WriteToThem.com. The Government's contemptuous dismissal of over 5,000 individual responses via the stand.org website to the Home Office public consultation on Entitlement Cards is one of the factors which later led directly to the formation of the the NO2ID Campaign who have been marshalling cross party opposition to Labour's dreadful National Identity Register compulsory centralised national biometric database and ID Card plans, at the expense of simpler, cheaper, less repressive, more effective, nore secure and more privacy friendly alternative identity schemes.

NO2ID - opposition to the Home Office's Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID bulletin board discussion forum

Home Office Identity Cards website
No compulsory national Identity Cards (ID Cards) BBC iCan campaign site
UK ID Cards blog
NO2ID press clippings blog
CASNIC - Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card.
Defy-ID active meetings and protests in Glasgow
www.idcards-uk.info - New Alliance's ID Cards page
irefuse.org - total rejection of any UK ID Card

International Civil Aviation Organisation - Machine Readable Travel Documents standards for Biometric Passports etc.
Anti National ID Japan - controversial and insecure Jukinet National ID registry in Japan
UK Biometrics Working Group run by CESG/GCHQ experts etc. the UK Government on Biometrics issues feasability
Citizen Information Project feasability study population register plans by the Treasury and Office of National Statistics

CommentOnThis.com - comments and links to each paragraph of the Home Office's "Strategic Action Plan for the National Identity Scheme".

De-Materialised ID - "The voluntary alternative to material ID cards, A Proposal by David Moss of Business Consultancy Services Ltd (BCSL)" - well researched analysis of the current Home Office scheme, and a potentially viable alternative.

Surveillance Infrastructures

National Roads Telecommunications Services project - infrastruture for various mass surveillance systems, CCTV, ANPR, PMMR imaging etc.

CameraWatch - independent UK CCTV industry lobby group - like us, they also want more regulation of CCTV surveillance systems.

Every Step You Take a documentary about CCTV surveillance in the Uk by Austrian film maker Nino Leitner.

Transport for London an attempt at a technological panopticon - London Congestion Charge, London Low-Emission Zone, Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, tens of thousands of CCTV cameras on buses, thousands of CCTV cameras on London Underground, realtime road traffic CCTV, Iyster smart cards - all handed over to the Metropolitan Police for "national security" purposes, in real time, in bulk, without any public accountibility, for secret data mining, exempt from even the usual weak protections of the Data Protection Act 1998.

RFID Links

RFID tag privacy concerns - our own original article updated with photos

NoTags - campaign against individual item RFID tags
Position Statement on the Use of RFID on Consumer Products has been endorsed by a large number of privacy and human rights organisations.
RFID Privacy Happenings at MIT
Surpriv: RFID Surveillance and Privacy
RFID Scanner blog
RFID Gazette
The Sorting Door Project

RFIDBuzz.com blog - where we sometimes crosspost RFID articles

Genetic Links

DNA Profiles - analysis by Paul Nutteing
GeneWatch UK monitors genetic privacy and other issues
Postnote February 2006 Number 258 - National DNA Database (.pdf) - Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

The National DNA Database Annual Report 2004/5 (.pdf) - published by the NDNAD Board and ACPO.

Eeclaim Your DNA from Britain's National DNA Database - model letters and advice on how to have your DNA samples and profiles removed from the National DNA Database,in spite of all of the nureacratic obstacles which try to prevent this, even if you are innocent.

Miscellanous Links

Michael Field - Pacific Island news - no longer a paradise
freetotravel.org - John Gilmore versus USA internal flight passports and passenger profiling etc.

The BUPA Seven - whistleblowers badly let down by the system.

Tax Credit Overpayment - the near suicidal despair inflicted on poor, vulnerable people by the then Chancellor Gordon Brown's disasterous Inland Revenue IT system.

Fassit UK - resources and help for those abused by the Social Services Childrens Care bureaucracy

Former Spies

MI6 v Tomlinson - Richard Tomlinson - still being harassed by his former employer MI6

Martin Ingram, Welcome To The Dark Side - former British Army Intelligence operative in Northern Ireland.

Operation Billiards - Mitrokhin or Oshchenko ? Michael John Smith - seeking to overturn his Official Secrets Act conviction in the GEC case.

The Dirty Secrets of MI5 & MI6 - Tony Holland, Michael John Smith and John Symond - stories and chronologies.

Naked Spygirl - Olivia Frank

Blog Links

e-nsecure.net blog - Comments on IT security and Privacy or the lack thereof.
Rat's Blog -The Reverend Rat writes about London street life and technology
Duncan Drury - wired adventures in Tanzania & London
Dr. K's blog - Hacker, Author, Musician, Philosopher

David Mery - falsely arrested on the London Tube - you could be next.

James Hammerton
White Rose - a thorn in the side of Big Brother
Big Blunkett
Into The Machine - formerly "David Blunkett is an Arse" by Charlie Williams and Scribe
infinite ideas machine - Phil Booth
Louise Ferguson - City of Bits
Chris Lightfoot
Oblomovka - Danny O'Brien

Liberty Central

dropsafe - Alec Muffett
The Identity Corner - Stefan Brands
Kim Cameron - Microsoft's Identity Architect
Schneier on Security - Bruce Schneier
Politics of Privacy Blog - Andreas Busch
solarider blog

Richard Allan - former Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam
Boris Johnson Conservative MP for Henley
Craig Murray - former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, "outsourced torture" whistleblower

Howard Rheingold - SmartMobs
Global Guerrillas - John Robb
Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends

Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

Nick Leaton - Random Ramblings
The Periscope - Companion weblog to Euro-correspondent.com journalist network.
The Practical Nomad Blog Edward Hasbrouck on Privacy and Travel
Policeman's Blog
World Weary Detective

Martin Stabe
Longrider
B2fxxx - Ray Corrigan
Matt Sellers
Grits for Breakfast - Scott Henson in Texas
The Green Ribbon - Tom Griffin
Guido Fawkes blog - Parliamentary plots, rumours and conspiracy.
The Last Ditch - Tom Paine
Murky.org
The (e)State of Tim - Tim Hicks
Ilkley Against CCTV
Tim Worstall
Bill's Comment Page - Bill Cameron
The Society of Qualified Archivists
The Streeb-Greebling Diaries - Bob Mottram

Your Right To Know - Heather Brooke - Freedom off Information campaigning journalist

Ministry of Truth _ Unity's V for Vendetta styled blog.

Bloggerheads - Tim Ireland

W. David Stephenson blogs on homeland security et al.
EUrophobia - Nosemonkey

Blogzilla - Ian Brown

BlairWatch - Chronicling the demise of the New Labour Project

dreamfish - Robert Longstaff

Informaticopia - Rod Ward

War-on-Freedom

The Musings of Harry

Chicken Yoghurt - Justin McKeating

The Red Tape Chronicles - Bob Sullivan MSNBC

Campaign Against the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Stop the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Rob Wilton's esoterica

panGloss - Innovation, Technology and the Law

Arch Rights - Action on Rights for Children blog

Database Masterclass - frequently asked questions and answers about the several centralised national databases of children in the UK.

Shaphan

Moving On

Steve Moxon blog - former Home Office whistleblower and author.

Al-Muhajabah's Sundries - anglophile blog

Architectures of Control in Design - Dan Lockton

rabenhorst - Kai Billen (mostly in German)

Nearly Perfect Privacy - Tiffany and Morpheus

Iain Dale's Diary - a popular Conservative political blog

Brit Watch - Public Surveillance in the UK - Web - Email - Databases - CCTV - Telephony - RFID - Banking - DNA

BLOGDIAL

MySecured.com - smart mobile phone forensics, information security, computer security and digital forensics by a couple of Australian researchers

Ralph Bendrath

Financial Cryptography - Ian Grigg et al.

UK Liberty - A blog on issues relating to liberty in the UK

Big Brother State - "a small act of resistance" to the "sustained and systematic attack on our personal freedom, privacy and legal system"

HosReport - "Crisis. Conspiraciones. Enigmas. Conflictos. Espionaje." - Carlos Eduardo Hos (in Spanish)

"Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

Corruption-free Anguilla - Good Governance and Corruption in Public Office Issues in the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla in the West Indies - Don Mitchell CBE QC

geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

PJC Journal - I am not a number, I am a free Man - The Prisoner

Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

The Caucus House - blog of the Chicago International Model United Nations

Famous for 15 Megapixels

Postman Patel

The 4th Bomb: Tavistock Sq Daniel's 7:7 Revelations - Daniel Obachike

OurKingdom - part of OpenDemocracy - " will discuss Britain’s nations, institutions, constitution, administration, liberties, justice, peoples and media and their principles, identity and character"

Beau Bo D'Or blog by an increasingly famous digital political cartoonist.

Between Both Worlds - "Thoughts & Ideas that Reflect the Concerns of Our Conscious Evolution" - Kingsley Dennis

Bloggerheads: The Alisher Usmanov Affair - the rich Uzbek businessman and his shyster lawyers Schillings really made a huge counterproductive error in trying to censor the blogs of Tim Ireland, of all people.

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

Henry Porter on Liberty - a leading mainstream media commentator and opinion former who is doing more than most to help preserve our freedom and liberty.

HMRC is shite - "dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of the HMRC, who have to endure the monumental shambles that is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)."

Head of Legal - Carl Gardner a former legal advisor to the Government

The Landed Underclass - Voice of the Banana Republic of Great Britain

Henrik Alexandersson - Swedish blogger threatened with censorship by the Försvarets Radioanstalt (FRA), the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishement, their equivalent of the UK GCHQ or the US NSA.

World's First Fascist Democracy - blog with link to a Google map - "This map is an attempt to take a UK wide, geographical view, of both the public and the personal effect of State sponsored fear and distrust as seen through the twisted technological lens of petty officials and would be bureaucrats nationwide."

Blogoir - Charles Crawford - former UK Ambassodor to Poland etc.

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

Lords of the Blog - group blog by half a dozen or so Peers sitting in the House of Lords.

notes from the ubiquitous surveillance society - blog by Dr. David Murakami Wood, editor of the online academic journal Surveillance and Society

Justin Wylie's political blog

Panopticon blog - by Timothy Pitt-Payne and Anya Proops. Timothy Pitt-Payne is probably the leading legal expert on the UK's Freedom of Information Act law, often appearing on behlaf of the Information Commissioner's Office at the Information Tribunal.

Armed and Dangerous - Sex, software, politics, and firearms. Life’s simple pleasures… - by Open Source Software advocate Eric S. Raymond.

Georgetown Security Law Brief - group blog by the Georgetown Law Center on National Security and the Law , at Georgtown University, Washington D.C, USA.

Big Brother Watch - well connected with the mainstream media, this is a campaign blog by the TaxPayersAlliance, which thankfully does not seem to have spawned Yet Another Campaign Organisation as many Civil Liberties groups had feared.

Spy on Moseley - "Sparkbrook, Springfield, Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green. An MI5 Intelligence-gathering operation to spy on Muslim communities in Birmingham is taking liberties in every sense" - about 150 ANPR CCTV cameras funded by Home Office via the secretive Terrorism and Allied Matters (TAM) section of ACPO.

FitWatch blog - keeps an eye on the activities of some of the controversial Police Forward Intelligence Teams, who supposedly only target "known troublemakers" for photo and video surveillance, at otherwise legal, peaceful protests and demonstrations.

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

Fuel Crisis Blog - Petrol over £1 per litre ! Protest !
Mayor of London Blog
London Olympics 2012 - NO !!!!

Cool Britannia

NuLabour

Free Gary McKinnon - UK citizen facing extradition to the USA for "hacking" over 90 US Military computer systems.

Parliament Protest - information and discussion on peaceful resistance to the arbitrary curtailment of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, in the excessive Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 Designated Area around Parliament Square in London.

Brian Burnell's British / US nuclear weapons history at http://nuclear-weapons.info

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Recent Comments

  • UK Voter: The government is consistently hyping these 'terrorist' incidents to extend read more
  • wtwu: The Court of Appeal seems to have agreed with us read more
  • Limo: Criminals should suffer for the rest of their lives. read more
  • Sinclair: The following quote is from Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's paper 'Inside read more
  • harpmandoodle: Well now someone has just attempted to set off a read more
  • wtwu: Barot's sentence has been reduced somewhat on appeal http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6661371.stm He read more
  • Steve Morley: I've just discovered this site. At last, objective intelligent views. read more
  • wtwu: @ Reporter - The censorship of the documents which Barot read more
  • Reporter: Barot claims to have carried out a lot of detailed read more
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UK Legislation

The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

UK Legislation Links

UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

UK Commissioners

UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

UK Intelligence Agencies

Intelligence and Security Committee - the supposedly independent Parliamentary watchdog which issues an annual, heavily censored Report every year or so. Currently chaired by the Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Why should either the intelligence agencies or the public trust this committee, when the untrustworthy ex-Labour Minister Hazel Blears is a member ?

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

MI5 Security Service
MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

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Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

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Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

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Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

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FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

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Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

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Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

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Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

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Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

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Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

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No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

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I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

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Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

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Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."

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Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme

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WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers