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2001nov05. A recent article in the Sunday Times contains pictorial excerpts from the “amazing” Al-Quada terrorist manual. “Cribbed from manuals given to secret services from around the world,” reads one caption under a pipe rigged with explosives.

Here’s another shot of the pipe. Or rather, here’s a completely different picture of the same pipe, from a different source – I took this one from issue 10 of X Magazine, published in 1992. I got the image from military book FM5-31, “Boobytraps.” It’s got all sorts of goodies in there, including that chocolate bar explosive mentioned in the article.

It was published by the U.S. government in 1965 and is freely available on the web in at least two places (one, two), or you could just go to your local army/navy surplus store. Heck, the GPO might still print ‘em up. It also has interesting tactics that “could be used by the enemy” (nudge, nudge), including setting off a small charge in a building to attract people, whereupon you set off the second, larger explosive.

In the end, the term “secret services” is a little misleading. But I think it’s most likely that the CIA just passed the manuals along to Bin Laden awhile ago with a hearty slap on the back.