Claims of Forest Jihad in the Western United States


forest jihad

Photo of forest fire in the western area of the United States

Update: The recent Yosemite fire was allegedly started by a careless hunter. No arrests have been made. The hunter was not involved with the local drug trade, according to the Forest Service (why even mention that?). They won’t talk about it again while the investigation is ongoing.

This should send out alarms to people but no one will pay attention. Why won’t they release the hunter’s name?


According to the Long War Journal. a Palestinian jihadist group, Masada al Mujahideen, took credit for the Yarnell Arizona wildfires that killed 19 elite firefighters. The group’s statement titled, “Masada al-Mujahideen Fulfilled its Promise and Attacked America Again After the Expiration of the Period with Fires that Achieved Historic Results,” was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

“We had previously announced an unconventional war against the occupation state of Israel, and then we escalated this war to reach its main supporter, America, so that it receives a major share of it, which will destroy their flora and fauna, with permission from Allah and then with our hands,” the group said.

The statement further said that the group targeted the United States “in order to make it clear and to make it know we can reach it when we warn it, and to make it certain that our hands don’t just reach it but also strike it.”

The group warned that the attacks “will not be the last…if America does not respond to our demands.” The statement boasted that 19 firefighters had been killed in the fires.

Authorities in Arizona say the fires were started by lightning.

The group had falsely claimed responsibility for the Nevada wildfires.

However, finding the cause of fires and finding and prosecuting arsonists is very difficult, especially in wilderness areas.

In May 2012, we reported on an ABC News story about issue #9 of the al Qaeda magazine Inspire which featured instructions about how to build an incendiary bomb to light forests on fire.

Issue 9 entitled, “It Is of Your Freedom to Ignite a Firebomb,” gives detailed instructions on how to ignite an “ember bomb” in a U.S. forest. The issue recommended Montana because of the rapid population growth in wooded areas.

“In America, there are more houses built in the [countryside] than in the cities,” says the writer, who uses the pseudonym The AQ Chef. “It is difficult to choose a better place [than] in the valleys of Montana.”

Issue eight had an eight-page article on how to construct remote-controlled explosives, with a laundry list of parts and ingredients and photos showing proper assembly….ABC News

A similar device was used in the Boston bombings and the terrorists followed the directions given in Inspire. A copy of the issue was found on Mrs. Tsarnaev’s computer. Terrorists are reading these radical magazines and websites.

A few months later, Russia’s security chief Aleksandr Bortnikov warned, “al Qaeda was complicit in recent forest fires in Europe” as part of the terrorists “strategy of a thousand cuts.”

“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.”

Bortnikov said numerous jihadi websites were calling for a “forest jihad.”

Fires have swept through forest land in the EU, particularly in Spain and Portugal.

The National Interagency Fire Center has recorded an increase in numbers of fires and intensity over the last ten years.

The Washington Post reports that responsibility for the wildfires raging across the West is assigned to climate change, economic development, and state and federal policies on fire prevention.

Do we need to add jihadi arsonists to that list of those responsible?

hat tip to Harvey Miller for the story