"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"."
U.S. officials monitoring terrorist web sites have discovered a call for using forest fires as weapons against “crusader” nations, in what may explain some recent wildfires in places like southern California and Greece.
In 2003 an FBI memo alerted law enforcement agencies that an al-Qaeda terrorist being held in detention had talked of masterminding a plot to set a series of devastating forest fires around the western United States.