Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth man 'published terrorists' handbook'

Terence Brown arriving at Winchester Crown Court
Image caption Mr Brown was accused of making money by selling the handbook

A man published a "terrorists' handbook" which included how to make bombs using sources like the al-Qaeda training manual, jurors have heard.

Terence Brown allegedly made CDs containing thousands of pages of information from his home with topics including "how to make a letter bomb".

It is alleged the information could have been used by terrorists.

Mr Brown, 47, of Whitworth Road, Portsmouth, denies nine charges under terrorism laws.

Winchester Crown Court heard Mr Brown called the CDs the Anarchist Cookbook and sold hundreds worldwide in yearly editions for 35 US dollars (£24) each.

It later became a double CD limited edition set, jurors heard.

'Vast collection'

Mr Brown allegedly had a now-closed website where the CDs could be bought from 2003 until 2008.

Prosecuting, Parmjit Cheema said: "The defendant is a man who made money by producing and selling computer discs from his home in Hampshire that went all over the world.

"However, the discs he painstakingly produced and sold contained a vast collection of material downloaded from the internet of which substantial parts could be of practical use to anyone planning or committing a terrorist attack."

The barrister said compiling such information was illegal if it would cause a threat to people or governments, even though the CDs ran a disclaimer: "For educational use only. Do not attempt any activities contained in these CD-Roms. Many are illegal and dangerous."

Miss Cheema said Mr Brown was not sympathetic to terrorists and the jury was likely to hear he did it to make money.

But she told the jury there was a context to the time he was selling the book and that centred around the World Trade Center attack in 2001, the Bali bombings in 2002, the Madrid train bombs in 2004 and the London bombings in 2005.

"He was putting out his product in that environment for anyone to buy," she said.

The court heard Mr Brown made no checks on who was buying the discs and accepted cash, and would destroy the order to safeguard buyers' anonymity.

Under the terms and conditions, the website said that anyone who was a member of a terrorist organisation should not order the discs.

Lock picking

Some of the titles in the compilation included the CIA secret manual of corrective questioning, homemade poisons, how to make electronic detonators and assassination.

Others had titles like lock picking and camouflage, the court heard.

Miss Cheema said a police officer posing as a member of the public ordered the limited edition set online in December 2007 and the CDs arrived in the post at an address in Winchester.

Mr Brown denies seven counts of collecting information that could have been used to prepare or commit acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000, two counts of selling and distributing the information under the Terrorism Act 2006 and a further count under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

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