Al-Qaeda blamed for Europe-wide forest fires


Al-Qaeda has been blamed for a recent series of forest fires across Europe, as the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service claimed they were set by arsonists as part of the group’s low-cost attack strategy.

Deadly fires have swept through forest land in EU countries such as Portugal and Spain.

Deadly fires have swept through forest land in EU countries such as Portugal and Spain. Photo: GETTY

7:10PM BST 03 Oct 2012

“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.

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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

4 Replies to “Al-Qaeda blamed for Europe-wide forest fires”

  1. 1. The Russian news outlet only cited jihadi sites saying it would be a good thing to do. It didn’t cite them planning actual fires. People blabble on about bombing the Kabaa but that doesn’t mean there is a plan to do it.

    So just because the savages have been talking about it, it doesn’t mean they are the cause.

    2. It’s forrest fire season. Forrest fires happen in california every year and they have been getting worse. Spain and Portugal are pretty similar in climate to California. The history of forest fires in Portugal and Spain is not cited in the article. I read a pdf of forest fires in southern Europe from 1980 to 2000 and Spain, Portugal and Greece have much more forest fires and more woodland lost to fires per year than even other southern Europian countries.

    The “reporter” only cited Spain and Portugal and no other countries. If it was happening all over Europe, like it says in the headline then there could be something suspicious about it.

    And 3. It was reported by a Russian news outlet via a British news outlet. Neither country is synonymous with even remedial quality reportage. The British is even worse because they cited a Russian source with a streight face.

    4. Forest fires don’t cause that much damage to a large country.

    5. if the fires were out of character compared to the history of fires in the region AND the history of fires in similar climates, that could indicate an artificial cause. But that information is not included.

    Portugal Spain and Greece tend to have more acrage of woodland lost to fire than other countries. And more fires than other southern Europian countries. That is what you would expect from warmer drier countries.

    The winter was one of the dryest in years and the temps were about 104 when the fires happened.

    So it is more likely that the weather was to blame.

    Also spain and portugal loose up to hundreds of thousands of hectares a year to fire. These fires this year took about 5,000 hectares (at least when I read the article about them). They were bad but the countries loose a heck of a lot of hectares every year and manage just fine. So setting a forest fire or two (where and when they would have happened anyway) would not contribute much to those thousand cuts the Russian was talking about.

    In a smaller country such as Israel it does cause comparatively more damage. Terrorists do set some of the fires in Israel to cause financial damage.

  2. This is the first time I’ve heard of Al Quada using a death of a thousand cuts on us. That was the Soviet strategy so I’m not suprised to see a Russian framing Al Quada’s strategy that way.

    If Al Quada is using that strategy, which they would have learned from the Soviets, they seem to have overlooked one little feature of that strategy.

    It didn’t work.


  3. Shocking! One is really at a loss to understand the mindset of anyone or those who would torch a whole forest even if they are terrorists. Of course, criminal profiling is not allowed to cover some ethnic minorities because it would be racist-stereotyping!

    Anyway, it is well known that for many arsonists fire is a fetish and is also an extreme expression of sexual frustration/repression The career of an arsonist starts while they are young- going from animal cruelty-arson- and from there on many continue on to murder/serial killing. For example: the US serial killer David Berkowitz also had a history of no less than 2000 fires to his name in the Brooklyn & Queens area before being put out of circulation. .

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