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Smokey the Bear Says: Only You Can Prevent–Forest Fire Jihad?


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COMMENT: A Russ­ian offi­cial has alleged that recent wild­fires that struck Europe may well have been set by Al Qae­da or oth­er jihadists ele­ments.  In FTR #723, we spec­u­lat­ed about the pos­si­bil­i­ty that dev­as­tat­ing Russ­ian for­est fires might be the work of jihadis, per­haps work­ing for the GOP/transnational corporate/Underground Reich fac­tion of U.S. intel­li­gence.

In light of recent dev­as­tat­ing wild fires in Europe and the Unit­ed States, a num­ber of things come to mind:

  • The Russ­ian offi­cial not­ed fires in Por­tu­gal and Spain, that have been par­tic­u­lar­ly destruc­tive.
  • Those two coun­tries are among the poor South­ern euro­zone coun­tries being dev­as­tat­ed by German-EMU–mandated aus­ter­i­ty. Whether this was an intend­ed jihadist/Underground Reich goal, those fires will sim­ply exac­er­bate those unfor­tu­nate coun­tries’ plights, as spend­ing to fight the fires will absorb bad­ly need­ed pub­lic funds, there­by mak­ing it increas­ing­ly dif­fi­cult to meet req­ui­site bud­getary con­straints.
  • In FTR #667, we dis­cussed wild­fires that struck the Vic­to­ria sec­tion of Aus­tralia. That por­tion of Aus­tralia has been the focal point of reli­gious strife between Mus­lims and some of their Chris­t­ian prelate neigh­bors. (See text excerpt below.)
  • Pri­or to the fires, Aus­tralian jihadists have been urg­ing the use of wild­fires as weapons against “infi­dels.”  (See text excerpt below.)
  • After the Vic­to­ria wild­fires of ear­ly 2009, jihadists cel­e­brat­ed the event. Is there any con­nec­tion between the reli­gious dis­cord between Mus­lim and Chris­t­ian in Vic­to­ria, the call for “jihadist” for­est fires in Autralia and the recent con­fla­gra­tion?
  • In light of recent state­ments by Islamists that the Egypt­ian mil­i­tary’s defen­es­tra­tion of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood gov­ern­ment of Mohamed Mor­si proved that democ­ra­cy and elec­tions were futile and that vio­lence was the only way for polit­i­cal Islam to tri­umph, will we be see­ing more attacks on infra­struc­ture of this type?
  • Will the parched West­ern Unit­ed States be a tar­get for such activ­i­ty?
  • The U.S. For­est Ser­vice was formed dur­ing World War II to pre­vent just such an even­tu­al­i­ty. Is the Al-Qae­da “for­est fire jihad” a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood update of the World War II Axis tac­tic?
  • The Japan­ese sent bal­loons car­ry­ing incen­di­ary bombs in an attempt to start for­est fires. (See text excerpt below.)

“Al-Qae­da Blamed for Europe-Wide For­est Fires” [AFP]; The Tele­graph [UK]; 7/9/2013.

EXCERPT: “One should note that set­ting fires to forests in the coun­tries of the Euro­pean Union is a new ten­den­cy in al-Qaeda’s strat­e­gy of a ‘thou­sand cuts’,” Alexan­der Bort­nikov said, accord­ing to state news agency RIA Novosti, at a meet­ing of heads of secu­ri­ty agen­cies.

“This method allows (al-Qae­da) to inflict sig­nif­i­cant eco­nom­ic and moral dam­age with­out seri­ous pre­lim­i­nary prepa­ra­tions, tech­ni­cal equip­ment or sig­nif­i­cant expens­es.”

In link­ing al-Qae­da to the dead­ly wild­fires, Mr Bort­nikov point­ed to calls to launch a “for­est jihad” by var­i­ous extrem­ist web­sites which he said also pub­lish detailed instruc­tions about how and where to best car­ry out arson.

He said it was very dif­fi­cult for spe­cial ser­vices to find and pros­e­cute such arson­ists.

Dead­ly fires have swept through for­est land in EU coun­tries such as Por­tu­gal and Spain over the past few months, killing scores of peo­ple and forc­ing thou­sands to evac­u­ate.

Last month, a for­est fire in the Span­ish region of Valen­cia forced author­i­ties to evac­u­ate around 2,000 peo­ple from their home.

More than 184,000 hectares of land in Spain alone were destroyed by fires between Jan­u­ary 1 and Sep­tem­ber 16, accord­ing to its agri­cul­ture min­istry, the high­est amount in a decade.

In its con­tin­u­ing cam­paign against the West, al-Qae­da has vowed to “bleed the ene­my to death” by resort­ing to inex­pen­sive, low-scale attacks it refers to as a “strat­e­gy of a thou­sand cuts”. . . .

“Court Rules in Favor of Aus­tralian Pas­tors, Accused of Vil­i­fy­ing Islam”; The Indi­an Catholic; 12/14/2006.

EXCERPT: The Supreme Court of Vic­to­ria in Aus­tralia upheld the appeal of two Aus­tralian pas­tors who could have faced jail time for pub­licly com­par­ing Chris­tian­i­ty with Islam.

The court ruled in favor of Daniel Scot and Dan­ny Nal­li­ah, who were pre­vi­ous­ly found to have ‘vil­i­fied Islam’ with their pub­lic com­ments by the Vic­to­ri­an Civ­il and Admin­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal.

In 2004, the tri­bunal ruled that the pas­tors were in vio­la­tion of Victoria’s Racial and Reli­gious Tol­er­ance Act. It deemed the pas­tors’ beliefs ‘offen­sive’ and ‘unrea­son­able’ inter­pre­ta­tions of Chris­t­ian and Islam­ic teach­ings. It also ordered the pas­tors to apol­o­gize for their ser­mon. The pas­tors could have faced jail time if they refused to com­ply. . . .

“Islam Group Urges For­est Fire Jihad” by Josh Gor­don; theage.com.au; 9/7/2008.

EXCERPT: Aus­tralia has been sin­gled out as a tar­get for ‘for­est jihad’ by a group of Islam­ic extrem­ists urg­ing Mus­lims to delib­er­ate­ly light bush­fires as a weapon of ter­ror.

US intel­li­gence chan­nels ear­li­er this year iden­ti­fied a web­site call­ing on Mus­lims in Aus­tralia, the US, Europe and Rus­sia to ‘start for­est fires’, claim­ing ‘schol­ars have jus­ti­fied chop­ping down and burn­ing the infi­dels’ forests when they do the same to our lands’.

The web­site, post­ed by a group called the Al-Ikhlas Islam­ic Net­work, argues in Ara­bic that light­ing fires is an effec­tive form of ter­ror­ism jus­ti­fied in Islam­ic law under the ‘eye for an eye’ doc­trine.

The post­ing — which instructs jihadis to remem­ber ‘for­est jihad’ in sum­mer months — says fires cause eco­nom­ic dam­age and pol­lu­tion, tie up secu­ri­ty agen­cies and can take months to extin­guish so that ‘this ter­ror will haunt them for an extend­ed peri­od of time’.

‘Imag­ine if, after all the loss­es caused by such an event, a jihadist organ­i­sa­tion 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, in Europe, in Rus­sia and in Aus­tralia.’

With the nation head­ing into anoth­er hot, dry sum­mer, Aus­tralian intel­li­gence agen­cies are treat­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty that bush­fires could be used as a weapon of ter­ror­ism as a seri­ous con­cern.

Attor­ney-Gen­er­al Robert McClel­land said the Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment remained ‘vig­i­lant against such threats’, warn­ing that any­one caught light­ing a fire as a weapon of ter­ror would feel the wrath of anti-ter­ror laws.

‘Any infor­ma­tion that sug­gests a threat to Aus­trali­a’s inter­ests is inves­ti­gat­ed by rel­e­vant agen­cies as appro­pri­ate,’ Mr McClel­land said. . . .

 “Jihadists Cel­e­brat­ing Vic­to­ria Fires; Tak­ing Joy in the Scenes” by Eleni Hale; The Aus­tralian; 2/15/2009.

EXCERPT: Jihadists are cel­e­brat­ing the worst tragedy in Vic­to­ri­a’s his­to­ry.

Ter­ror watch­dogs said fun­da­men­tal­ists had blogged on web­sites across the globe, applaud­ing the lives lost and destruc­tion in the Vic­to­ria fires.

Senior ana­lyst at SITE Intel­li­gence Group Adam Rais­man said they were post­ing pic­tures of burnt homes and dev­as­tat­ed vic­tims and ‘tak­ing joy in the scenes’, the Sun­day Her­ald Sun reports.

One jihadist wrote: ‘It would be an act of revenge for Aus­tralian’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.’

Bush­fires vic­tims said they were stunned.

‘We’re mind­ing our own busi­ness and try­ing to cope with all this and they are cel­e­brat­ing our suf­fer­ing,’ said Denise McCann who lost her home in the Kinglake blaze. . . .

“A Quick His­to­ry of Smokey the Bear” by Steve Nix; forestry.about.com.

Smokey Bear came to us by neces­si­ty. At the begin­ning of World War II, Amer­i­cans feared that an ene­my attack or sab­o­tage could destroy our for­est resources at a time when wood prod­ucts were great­ly need­ed. Time was ripe for a Smokey Bear icon.

In the spring of 1942 a Japan­ese sub­ma­rine fired shells onto an oil field in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia near Los Padres Nation­al For­est. Gov­ern­ment offi­cials were relieved that the shelling did not start a for­est fire but were deter­mined to pro­vide pro­tec­tion.

The USDA For­est Ser­vice orga­nized the Coop­er­a­tive For­est Fire Pre­ven­tion (CFFP) Pro­gram in 1942. It encour­aged cit­i­zens nation­wide to make a per­son­al effort to pre­vent for­est fires. It was a mobi­lized civil­ian effort in sup­port of the war effort to pro­tect valu­able trees. Tim­ber was a pri­ma­ry com­mod­i­ty for bat­tle­ships, gun­stocks, and pack­ing crates for mil­i­tary trans­port. Smokey Bear was cre­at­ed as the sym­bol for wild­fire pre­ven­tion but with a war-time incen­tive. . . .

. . . . On August 2, 1944, the For­est Ser­vice and the War Adver­tis­ing Coun­cil intro­duced the smokey bear char­ac­ter as their cam­paign sym­bol. . . .

“The Two Tragedies of Archie Mitchell” BYJamie “Mad B‑Logger” Lewis; fhsarchives.wordpress.com/; 5/30/2012.

 . . . .The Japan­ese bal­loon bomb pro­gram has become part of Amer­i­can smoke­jump­ing lore. Dur­ing World War II, the Japan­ese sent bal­loons across the Pacif­ic Ocean with incen­di­ary bombs attached. The idea was that the devices, which typ­i­cal­ly car­ried four incen­di­ary bombs and one anti-per­son­nel bomb, would land some­where in a wood­ed area, explode, and start a for­est fire that would then tie up crit­i­cal fire­fight­ing resources. More­over, the threat from these devices, they hoped, would cause pan­ic and ter­ror to spread whether or not they start­ed a fire. In all, more than 9,000 bal­loons were launched by Japan but only about 100 are known to have reached the con­ti­nent, with one report­ed­ly reach­ing Michi­gan. No fires were attrib­uted to the bombs. And because the Amer­i­can press coop­er­at­ed with the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment and did not report the bal­loons, the Japan­ese nev­er heard of any work­ing and assumed that the pro­gram had failed.

To some extent, though, the bal­loon bombs had the desired effect. When the bal­loons first appeared in 1944, fed­er­al offi­cials feared they might car­ry anthrax or oth­er com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases. The U.S. Army respond­ed to the pos­si­bil­i­ty of for­est fires with Oper­a­tion Fire­fly. As part of that pro­gram the gov­ern­ment trained and dis­patched con­sci­en­tious objec­tors and the first all-black bat­tal­ion of para­troop­ers, the 555th Para­chute Infantry Bat­tal­ion, bet­ter known as the Triple Nick­les, to do bat­tle with the aer­i­al men­ace. Their train­ing includ­ed demo­li­tion of unex­plod­ed ordi­nance. The Triple Nick­les nev­er fought a bomb-cre­at­ed fire but did par­tic­i­pate in 36 mis­sions and made 1,200 jumps. . . .


2 comments for “Smokey the Bear Says: Only You Can Prevent–Forest Fire Jihad?”

  1. We had our share of sus­pect fires (and floods and storms) in Cana­da in recent years. In the Province of Que­bec, the past weeks have been ter­ri­ble for that mat­ter while fires as large as coun­tries (such as the East­main fire)destroyed hun­dreds of square kilo­me­ters of forests. Weath­er set by elec­tro-mag­net­ic tech­nol­o­gy or by hand or any oth­er mean, these fires are not going to help the peo­ple in any­way. To add to what you already point­ed out Dave, must I remind the fol­low­ers of this site that a few years ago, a polit­i­cal par­ty in Que­bec has refused to sub­mit to shari­ah? An offi­cial request was made dur­ing a con­gress of the par­ty and the answer was...no. No won­der why there are such “fires” these days. And I am not even talk­ing about the recent sup­posed train wreck in Lac Mégan­tic, which set, uhm uhm, anoth­er fire.

    Wake up peo­ple. It is time to fight back.

    Posted by Claude | July 9, 2013, 9:42 pm
  2. @Claude–

    It is indeed time for peo­ple to wake up.

    Let’s keep our fin­gers crossed.

    It’s a safe bet that the deba­cle unfold­ing in Egypt will, ulti­mate­ly, increase the num­ber of jihadis engag­ing in such activ­i­ties.



    Posted by Dave Emory | July 10, 2013, 3:33 pm

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