Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinTrump, lower court nominees need American Bar Association review This week: Congress returns to government shutdown fight Hotel industry details plans to fight Airbnb MORE wants to take the Anarchist Cookbook and al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine off the Internet.
The Californian, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Thursday that the arrest of two New York women for allegedly trying to build a bomb is a reminder of the threat facing America from within.
“I am particularly struck that the alleged bombers made use of online bombmaking guides like the Anarchist Cookbook and Inspire Magazine,” she said in a statement shortly after the arrests were announced.
The claim is sure to run into heated opposition from civil liberties advocates who would wholeheartedly reject the claim that the documents are not covered under the First Amendment, which protects the right to free speech. While the right to free speech is not considered absolute, judges have traditionally held a high bar for censoring material based on its status as potentially threatening or offensive.
The Anarchist Cookbook, which was published in 1971, contains detailed instructions on how to make bombs, among other devices. It has been the target of criticism for years, most recently in 2013, when author William Powell said it should be taken out of print following a school shooting in Colorado.
Inspire is a slickly-produced English language magazine made by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
According to charges unveiled on Thursday, Asia Siddiqui and Noelle Velentzas were inspired by both publications as well as the Boston Marathon bombing and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. They allegedly sought to build a bomb to attack the U.S.
Additionally, U.S. officials claim that Siddiqui was “close” with the American editor of Inspire, Samir Khan, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011.
“We must remain vigilant against these types of attacks and place a high priority on tracking and interdicting such plots,” Feinstein said in her Thursday statement.