The war on terror might be about to get much, much hotter. Dwindling resources and diminishing weaponry are causing Muslim extremists to call upon their numbers to start a “forest jihad” in Australia. According to one website extremists have to “start forest fires," claiming “scholars have justified chopping down and burning infidels’ forests when they do the same to our lands.” The website continues, "Imagine if, after all the losses caused by such an event, a jihadist organization were to claim responsibility for the forest fires. 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."
Anyone who has been watching the news this summer or lives in California understands the potential damage these fires can cause untold economic and ecological damage. This summer nearly 1,300 homes were destroyed and almost 500,000 acres burned. Australia, which is heading into their fire season, is on alert.
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Attorney-General Robert McClelland assured that the Federal Government is remaining “vigilant against such threats” and warns that anyone caught using fire as a weapon would feel the full extent of the Australia’s anti-terror laws. However, there are those that believe that the threat is just smoke. The director of research at the University of Wollongong’s Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention thinks this is inconsistent with the jihadist mentality. “With attacks like bushfires, yes, it would be easy.” But he also believes that starting fires are less effective in that it is easy to deny their credibility. If a terrorist organization wanted credit for such an action, it would be very difficult to prove otherwise.