Two Hundred Thousand acres have burned in Southern California, with more houses being consumed by fire every day. Fire officials have evidence that at least some of the fires were set intentionally?could this have been done by terrorists? A June 25th FBI memo said an al-Qaeda prisoner claimed he had planned to start forest fires in the U.S. this summer.
G2Bulletin.com reports that the FBI memo, which was obtained by the Arizona Republic newspaper, said an unidentified detainee planned to create several large wildfires at once, which is what's going on right now. "The detainee believed that significant damage to the U.S. economy would result and once it was realized that the fires were terrorist acts, U.S. citizens would put pressure on the U.S. government to change its policies," the memo said. The plan called for three or four terrorists to set timed explosive devices in forests.
He was inspired by the wildfires that devastated a large part of Australia. "Australian security authorities are aware of reports that al-Qaeda has considered starting bushfires in the U.S. as a form of terrorist attack," says Australian Attorney General Daryl Williams. "Arson attacks are just one of a wide range of scenarios which have been considered as part of our investigations into al-Qaeda's ability to conduct attacks in Australia."
Terrorists in Israel have started many forest fires over the years, and al-Qaeda has recently been mimicking the techniques of Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas. Israeli police first caught Arab terrorists setting forest fires in 1988. A terrorist leaflet called for ''the destruction and burning of the enemy's properties, industry and agriculture.'' 408 fires in May and June of 1988 destroyed 400,000 acres of land, and arson cases account for one-third of Israeli forest fires.
Israeli fire ranger Gilad "Gidi" Mastai says, "It's extremely hard to find arsonists, just like it's hard to close off the Green [bus] Line to terrorists. The forests here are on the front line."
Fire fighters have been known to set forest fires in order to get work, and other fires have been caused by negligence, such as a tossed cigarette or a neglected campfire. This area is overheated and dry, with high winds, so spontaneous combustion could also have occurred.
We can't blame all our problems on terrorists, but in order not to become paranoid, we need information. The trouble is, the government rarely tells us what's really going on.
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