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Radical Claims Right to Make Bomb Speech

Posted May 3, 2007 8:15 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A former environmental rights radical is awaiting trial in San Diego for explaining in a speech how to make an incendiary device.

Rod Coronado maintains he had a First Amendment right to make the speech, and the anti-terrorism law used to charge him is too vague, according to the New York Times. The federal law bars “teaching and demonstrating” an explosive device with the intent that it be used to commit a violent crime.

In his speech, Coronado referred to a recent fire at a condominium construction site and said he wouldn’t be surprised if a similar incendiary device was found at the scene.

The government has obtained one conviction under the law, against a Ku Klux Klan member, the newspaper reports. It was overturned on appeal, but not on constitutional grounds.

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