On September 7, 2008, the Australian paper The Age reported a jihadist group has targeted Australia for Forest Jihad, as prescribed from the koran sanctioned by islamic scholars.
134 people are dead from the Australian forest fires.
Now the hunt sets in for the arsonists, this is not the first time jihadists have set forests ablaze, the forest fires in Greece were apparently done by jihadis, in Montenegro the same thing, an Albanian were caught trying to set a forest ablaze.
This is from 2004 - From JihadWatch:
Last fall, WorldNetDaily reported on al-Qaida's threats against the forests of the U.S. and its allies – and pointed out the rash of devastating wildfires that rages through Europe, Australia and the U.S.
Damage estimates exceeded $2 billion. The fires were among the deadliest and costliest disasters in California.
Meanwhile, there is evidence terrorism was behind other wildfires in Europe and Australia last summer.
In the devastating forest fires that swept through the Maures mountains near the French Riviera in late July, investigators found Molotov cocktails, or gasoline bombs, were used to ignite the blazes that killed at least four and destroyed 50 homes.
Luc Jousse, the mayor of Roque-Sur-Argens, called the fires "a new form of terrorism." President Jacques Chirac threatened those responsible with "sanctions of an extraordinary gravity."
The fires in France were the worst ever in the region.
In addition, southern Italy also was hit last summer with devastating wildfires also believed to be the result of arson.
In August, Australian authorities launched an investigation into reports al-Qaida planned to spark brushfires in a new wave of devastating terror attacks.
A June 25 FBI memo to United States law enforcement agencies revealed a senior al-Qaida detainee claimed to have developed a plan to start midsummer forest fires in the U.S.
The terrorist hoped to mimic the destruction that devastated Canberra last summer, killing four people and destroying more than 500 homes, as well as in other parts of Australia.
The Australians should very well know where to find the culprits.
Australia launches hunt for arsonists
From United Press International.
MELBOURNE, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Australian officials said Monday arsonists set some of the brush fires that turned northeastern Victoria into "hell on earth," killing at least 134 people.
The death toll could climb to well over 200, officials said.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the arsonists were "mass murderers.
A search was on for the arsonists, officials said.
The burned out region was described by one government leader as "hell on earth."
Army troops were deployed in northeastern Victoria to help exhausted police in their search for more fire victims, The Australian reported.
Troops were also helping firefighters as they continued to battle blazes
threatening townships in the southern Australian state. The official death toll from brush fires was 134, with officials reporting 28 fires still burning and more than 700 homes destroyed.Islam group urges forest fire jihad
From The Age
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.
Adam Dolnik, director of research at the University of Wollongong's Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention, said that bushfires (unlike suicide bombing) were generally not considered a glorious type of attack by jihadis, in keeping with a recent decline in the sophistication of terrorist operations.
"With attacks like bushfires, yes, it would be easy. It would be very damaging and we do see a decreasing sophistication as a part of terrorist attacks," Dr Dolnik said.
"In recent years, there have been quite a few attacks averted and it has become more and more difficult for groups to do something effective."
Dr Dolnik said he had observed an increase in traffic on jihadi websites calling for a simplification of terrorist attacks because the more complex operations had been failing. But starting bushfires was still often regarded as less effective than other operations because governments could easily deny terrorism as the cause.
The internet posting by the little-known group claimed the idea of forest fires had been attributed to imprisoned Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab Al-Suri. It said Al-Suri had urged terrorists to use sulphuric acid and petrol to start forest fires.