Al-Qaeda blamed for Europe-wide forest fires

The Telegraph | 03 Oct 2012

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.

"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.

In its continuing campaign against the West, al-Qaeda has vowed to "bleed the enemy to death" by resorting to inexpensive, low-scale attacks it refers to as a "strategy of a thousand cuts".

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/9585098/Al-Qaeda-blamed-for-Europe-wide-forest-fires.html

 

Al Qaeda Set Europe’s Forests on Fire – FSB Chief
RIA Novosti | 03/10/2012

Al Qaeda is responsible for the recent spate of forest fires in Europe, Russian security service chief Alexander Bortnikov claimed on Wednesday.

Al Qaeda is responsible for the recent spate of forest fires in Europe, Russian security service chief Alexander Bortnikov claimed on Wednesday.

"Forest fires in European Union countries should be considered one of the new trends in Al Qaeda’s ‘thousand cuts’ strategy. This approach allows them to inflict significant damage on the economy and morale without any serious preparation, technical equipment, or financial outlay" Bortnikov told the 11th meeting of Russian and partner states’ security and law enforcement services in Moscow.

Security services had only minimal chances of catching these arsonists, he added, supporting his claims with content on extremist websites talking about "forest jihad" – including suggestions about the most effective ways of starting a forest fire.

Bortnikov also said the security services’ current priority is countering the spread of terrorist activity in the Middle East and North Africa, adding international terror networks could use these internal conflicts for their own ends, "threatening the stability of entire regions" and "posing a threat to the entire international community."

Forest fires have become an annual occurence across Europe in recent years, with southern European countries such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, Montenegro, Greece, and Serbia particularly hard-hit.

The European Forest Fire Information System in August noted that 2012 had seen more fires early in the season, reporting 100,000 hectares consumed by fire by the end of March.

Source: http://en.rian.ru/world/20121003/176377748.html

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