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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Watch Out for those Almanacs Register and log in to post!
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Grimis
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#1 Posted on 29.12.03 1506.48
Reposted on: 29.12.10 1508.02
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction...

FBI urges police to watch for people carrying almanacs

The FBI 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 this."

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."

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 witticisms.

"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
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AWArulz
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#2 Posted on 29.12.03 1539.55
Reposted on: 29.12.10 1539.56
Actually, Grimis, this is pretty valid.

I was a cop in SF during the late 70s. We had a killer there who called himself Zodiac. He killed for various reasons, but often enough it was horoscope based. It was thought he was drawing constalations at one point and we were advised to look for almanacs, star-books and other maps. We were also looking for Siney Omar books and other horoscope books.

Of course, in hindsight, the dude was long gone. I don't think he killed after about 75, which was while I was still in high school. But those were the instructions.
JoshMann
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#3 Posted on 29.12.03 1556.31
Reposted on: 29.12.10 1558.54
OK, I'm about to out myself for being a dork for the purposes of this thread and say that my favorite book between the ages of 10 and 14 was the World Almanac and Book of Facts, which I had updated versions of from 1985 to 1990. So much so that I had a copy on my person most of the time. And YES, the other kids used to rib me for it, thanks for asking.

Hell, my best friend STILL ribs me about it to this day.

Keeping in mind that all I was doing was filling my brain with a landfill of useless information that only serves me any use during Jeopardy.

But the thread made me laugh when thinking of the 11 year old version of myself sitting on the veranda reading my World Almanac and suddenly have a SWAT team jump out from behind the playground.
Big Bad
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#4 Posted on 29.12.03 2239.57
Reposted on: 29.12.10 2240.45

    I was a cop in SF during the late 70s. We had a killer there who called himself Zodiac. He killed for various reasons, but often enough it was horoscope based. It was thought he was drawing constalations at one point and we were advised to look for almanacs, star-books and other maps. We were also looking for Siney Omar books and other horoscope books.


Are you sure this was San Fran, or was it Gotham City?
AWArulz
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#5 Posted on 30.12.03 0503.25
Reposted on: 30.12.10 0503.55
    Originally posted by Big Bad

      I was a cop in SF during the late 70s. We had a killer there who called himself Zodiac. He killed for various reasons, but often enough it was horoscope based. It was thought he was drawing constalations at one point and we were advised to look for almanacs, star-books and other maps. We were also looking for Siney Omar books and other horoscope books.


    Are you sure this was San Fran, or was it Gotham City?



Serious business, my friend.You could look it up.Remember the Dirty Harry movies and the guy was "scorpio?" that was based on Zodiac, who they never caught.

Take a look

http://www.zodiackiller.com/

WOW, super weird site. I googled this one up. I had never seen it before. Seriously, they were still completly about catching this one when I was SFPD in '79. He showed up at least once every two weeks in watch.
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