WESTERN UNITED STATES – The mainstream media is focused on “global warming” and “global climate change” to explain the fires consuming three states in the Western US.
Fair. This article does not seek to weigh in on what has contributed to the massive spread of the fires. But let’s not ignore some of the additional sparks that might not have been solely natural.
First, we can’t ignore gross mismanagement or absence of any forest control program due to “environmental” concerns.
Nor can we ignore the possibility of terrorism.
One does not have to be a rocket scientist to understand that some less than honorable interests are looking at what has been going on in the United States since the end of May and not view it as an opportunity.
There is a saying that while you are looking at someone and concentrating on what the right hand is doing, you also need to be paying attention to the left.
According to a July article in JihadWatch, well before the recent onslaught of deadly wildfires, and quoting numerous sources, the use of fires, especially large forest fires, was cited by Islamic terrorists as a useful terrorist tactic.
In fact, going back eight years, in a May 2012 article, the Daily Mail reported that Al Qaeda had actually called upon its followers to “unleash massive forest fires upon the United States this summer.”
The terror magazine “Inspire” outlined graphic instructions on how to create and ignite so-called “ember bombs.”
The article, entitled “It is of your Freedom to Ignite a Firebomb,” would-be terrorists were encouraged to target the state of Montana due to rapid population growth in wooded areas of that state.
The writer of the article, known as The AQ Chef, according to ABC News noted that:
“in America there are more houses built in the countryside than in the cities. It is difficult to choose a better place than in the valleys of Montana.”
The article noted that in Australia in December 2002, forest fires in Australia had “unleashed a heat energy equal to that of 23 nuclear bombs,” a claim that was unsubstantiated.
More recently in 2018, PJ Media reported that wildfires in northern and southern California were claimed by an ISIS group to be “retribution for coalition bombings in Syria.”
An image was published by Al-Ansar Media of a burning building, and was accompanied by the following text:
“O america, This is the punishment of bombing Muslims in Syria. This is Allah’s punishment for you. And in shaa Allah, you will see more fires. Praise be to Allah.”
At that time, the so-called “Camp Fire,” located north of Sacramento had taken 48 lives, according to Cal Fire incident stats at the time. The fire destroyed 7,600 homes, and 260 commercial buildings, earning that fire the status as the most destructive fire in state history at that time.
In yet another fire that year, the Woolsey Fire consumed over 97,000 acres in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. That fire resulted in Malibu being evacuated, and it reached the Pacific Coast Highway. Two lives were taken and 483 buildings were destroyed.
While neither ISIA nor Al Qaeda accepted responsibility for either of those fires, they had, as previously said advocated such tactics as acceptable Jihadi attacks.
In 2017, the al-Naba newsletter actually featured the “ferocity and toll of the wildfires” in multiple issues of the piece, which PJ Media says, “focuses on news from around ISIS’ occupied territories and conflict zones.”
The January 2017 issue of ISIS’ Rumiyah magazine sought to convince readers that “incendiary attacks have played a significant role in modern and guerilla warfare, as well as ‘lone-wolf’ terrorism,” noting that a fire at a Russian furniture factory in November, 2016 and wildfires in Israel served as incidents that “demonstrated the lethality of such an effortless operation.”
The magazine suggested various possible target locations for such incendiary attacks, including “houses and apartment buildings, forest areas adjacent to residential areas, factories that produce cars, furniture, clothing, flammable substances, etc., gas stations, hospitals, bars dance clubs, night clubs, banks, car showrooms, schools, universities, as well as churches, Rafidi [Shiite] temples, and so forth. The options are vast, leaving no excuse for delay.”
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The article suggested that jihadis plan these attacks “preferably in the later part of night to the early hours of morning when people are generally asleep,” and offered instructions on how to block exits in order to inflict greater loss of life. For wildfires, ISIS specified they should be lit in areas with dry brush, “as fire cannot endure in damp or wet environments.”
As recently as this past July, MEMRI-TV said that pro-ISIS media uploaded an animated video to its Telegram channel called, “Incite the Believers.”
In the video, the narrator notes that fires had killed a number of non-Muslims while causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Muslims were encouraged to start fires in a way which doesn’t draw attention to themselves, and to dispose any form of evidence.
Viewers were encouraged to set fire to forests, factories, agricultural fields, and buildings. The video actually showed a man marking a location in the state of California in which to set a fire.
In the video, the narrator says:
“…try looking at the losses caused by fires in the lands of the Crusaders every year. Fires in every forest and fields, cities and villages completely destroyed, people displaced, armies of firefighters and civil defense personnel are working continuous days to no avail. The disaster does not stop there but causes hundreds of millions of dollars in losses sometimes. And look at the human losses caused by fires among the kuffar; sometimes they exceed the number of those lost in major strikes by the muhahideeen in which they used guns and explosives. Now, rise up and start working.”
One cannot also discount the possibility that some of the current spate of wildfires may have been deliberately set by groups or individuals with nefarious intents. In fact, according to the New York Post, one of the fires in Oregon is being investigated as a possible arson, as human remains were found in an area where one of the fires is believed to have started.
The fire that started in Ashland, which has destroyed 600 homes and 3,000 acres of land is, according to Jackson County Sheriff Nate Sickler “an active criminal investigation,” he told the Medford Mail Tribune.
Sickler said, “We are still in the early stages. Nothing’s been ruled out,” Sickler said while noting that the fire had spread “at an extreme rate.”
In addition to Sickler, Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara told Reuters that the fire, known as the Almeda Fire, was deemed suspicious.
“We have good reason to believe that there was a human element to it,” he said. “We’re going to pursue it as a criminal investigation until we have reason to believe that it was otherwise.”
With that said, O’Meara told The Oregonian that it was not believed to be connected to Antifa.
“One thing I can say is that the rumor it was set by Antifa is 100% false information. We have some leads and none of it points in that direction.”
As of last Thursday, the death toll had reached 23 as over 100 major fires were burning across the states of Oregon, Washington, and California.
In one fire alone in California, the North Complex Fire, 10 people had confirmed dead, with a reported 16 people listed as missing. Overall in California, 19 people have been confirmed to have died.
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