Russia: Al-Qaeda Behind Europe's Forest Fires

And they may soon try it in the US, too

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 5, 2012 3:23 PM CDT

(Newser) – The forest fires that have been raging through the EU lately aren't random catastrophes—they're terrorist attacks. That's what Russian security service chief Alexander Bortnikov told a meeting of security and law enforcement chiefs earlier this week, RIA Novosti reports. The fires, he said, are "one of the new trends in al-Qaeda's 'thousand cuts' strategy," allowing them to inflict lots of damage "without any serious preparation, technical equipment, or financial outlay." He said they'd found terror websites buzzing with advice on waging "forest jihad."

Forest fires have been raging through Europe in recent months, particularly in Spain and Portugal; last week a fire in eastern Spain forced some 2,000 people to evacuate, the Daily Mail reports. And the problem may not be confined to Europe for long; in May, al-Qaeda's online magazine "Inspire" urged people to use the same tactic in the US.

Two birds, center, fly over a burning forest fire in Pedralba, near Valencia, Spain, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012.
Two birds, center, fly over a burning forest fire in Pedralba, near Valencia, Spain, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012.   (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
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