05 December '10
A very interesting article by Jonathan Fighel written two years ago for the International Institute of Counter-Terrorism:
From the beginning of September 2008, a renewed concern emanated from Western intelligence agencies to the effect that Al Qaeda terrorists were planning a “global fireball”, in a departure from its war on the West. Deliberately lighting forest fires in Europe, the US and Australia, would not only stretch emergency services, but would also leave insurance companies facing multi-billion dollar claims, as the credit crunch bites. The fires would also create a pollution disaster, with billions of tons of climate-change gases escaping into the atmosphere. The so-called “forest jihad” is being championed by Islamic scholars and Osama Bin Laden’s terror strategists who believe setting fire to dry woodlands will produce maximum damage at minimum risk.
Already back in November 2007, radical Islamic forums spelled out the terrorists’ mindset in graphic terms. One of the Arabic web sites affiliated with Al Qaeda’s ideas, called “Al-Ikhlas Islamic Network”, posted a long and detailed message, in which it was argued that lighting fires is an effective form of action, justified in Islamic law under the "eye for an eye" doctrine. The posting instructs remembering the "Forest Jihad" during the summer months, noting that "fires cause economic damage and pollution, tie up security agencies and can take months to extinguish.” Imagine, if after all the losses caused by such an event, a jihadist organization were to claim responsibility for the forest fires," the website says, "you can hardly begin to imagine the level of fear that would take hold of people in the United States, Europe, Russia and Australia."…
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