Homeland Security Warns of Terrorist Wildfire Attacks

An image from the most recent issue of Inspire magazine, which is reportedly produced by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Several articles in the magazine advocate the use of wildfires as a terrorist tactic.

Public Intelligence

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and fusion centers around the country are warning that terrorists are interested in using fire as a weapon, particularly in the form of large-scale wildfires near densely populated areas.  A newly released DHS report states that for more than a decade “international terrorist groups and associated individuals have expressed interest in using fire as a tactic against the Homeland to cause economic loss, fear, resource depletion, and humanitarian hardship.”  The report notes that the tactical use of fire as a weapon is “inexpensive and requires limited technical expertise” and “materials needed to use fire as a weapon are common and easily obtainable, making preoperational activities difficult to detect and plot disruption and apprehension challenging for law enforcement.”

Though law enforcement has been warning of the use of fire as a weapon for years, the recent fervor over wildfires as a potential terrorist tactic is largely due to Inspire magazine, a slick online publication that is reportedly produced by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  The most recent issue of Inspire featured multiple articles on the use of wildfire as a weapon in jihad, including a complete guide on creating an “ember bomb” that would likely have a “high failure rate when manufactured and utilized by untrained or inexperienced personnel” according to the DHS report.  The FBI has also separately warned about the latest issue of Inspire, which “instructs the audience to look for two necessary factors for a successful wildfire, which are dryness and high winds to help spread the fire. Specific fire conditions that are likely to spread fire quickly are Pinewood, crownfires (where the trees and branches are close together), and steep slope fires (fire spreads faster going up a slope).”  California and Montana are specifically listed in Inspire as potential targets.

How do you stop a person that wants to carry out a wildfire attack? The DHS report includes a list of potentially suspicious activities associated with the terrorist wildfire threat.  Are you conducting “unusual research” related to weather, dry seasons, winds, or types of forests and vegetation?  Have you done online research related to historical cases of arson?  Or maybe you “conduct reconnaissance” in “remote, wooded areas, especially at night”?  According to DHS, you might be a part of a terrorist plot to start wildfires all around the country.  Of course, you could just be interested in nature, studying for a criminology exam or lost in a rural area at night.  The report makes it clear that many of the suspicious activities listed are “constitutionally protected” and should not be considered alone as sufficient cause for investigation.  However, the list ends with an ominous warning: “Preoperational activities of violent extremists in the Homeland might be difficult to detect. Agencies with local or state oversight should monitor events that might be linked to a larger terrorist operation. Suspicious activities should be reported and shared immediately.”

21 comments for “Homeland Security Warns of Terrorist Wildfire Attacks

  1. A U.S. Libertarian
    June 3, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Waterbombs are already an effective way of dealing with this threat. My fellow citizens and I do not need jackbooted thugs stationed in parks to deal with this (possible) threat *if* it ever happens, which it may not.

  2. A U.S. Libertarian
    June 3, 2012 at 1:17 am

    As for the use of fire in other capacities as a terrorist weapon, that is needless for discussion as it is already an *established* terrorist weapon, not a new one.

    Terrorists have been weaponizing fire for years now. See the IRA’s usage of Russian flamethrowers, and various groups usage of items such as Molotov cocktails, gasoline, fire kites, various fuels and other implements.

    This is how the stuff is utilized, and there are established ways of dealing with it then as well.

  3. haim357
    June 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    They use fire in Israel too,

    • FC
      June 15, 2012 at 1:00 am

      Ditto THAT! Spooks created these terrur-groups back during the 1st Afghanistan war. Wait and see … they’ll find a perfect-condition passport of X,Y,Z terrur guy right in the ashes.

  4. Anonymezz
    June 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I smell a false flag operation on the horizon. DHS is nothing more than a fearmongering PROPAGANDA machine.

  5. Anonymezz
    June 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Fire has been a means of warfare since the medieval times, in WW2 japan floated fire bomb ballons in the hopes of the ballons causing wildfires.

    • Larry A. Singleton
      March 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      “This is just another ridiculous bogeyman fabricated to keep us scared.”

      And you base this assumption on what? Precisely.

  6. Kevin
    June 15, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Conducting “unusual research” and prowling around at night would not even be necessary for anyone who understands fire behavior and knows how to read a topo map. This is just another ridiculous bogeyman fabricated to keep us scared.

  7. nina zee
    June 16, 2012 at 4:55 am

    not to mention US attempts to launch
    incendiary bats into Japan during WWII…

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_bomb

  8. usagov911
    June 16, 2012 at 7:55 am

    I bet obama commies are doing these fires never let a crisis go to waste ……………….they believe this whole heartly

  9. smokie
    July 1, 2012 at 6:17 am

    coincidentally, the headlines reflect a very accurate prediction

    • Larry A. Singleton
      March 3, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      “I am therefore completely convinced this threat was not a hoax, and we very well may have admitted students to UCD who were waiting for a go signal, just like the one reported.”

      You think?

      Apparently you don’t read Jihad Watch. And as far as this “forest fire” threat you can be sure it wasn’t reported in any newspapers or mainstream media. Of course if I’m wrong feel free to set me straight. You’ll never hear of this kind of thing unless you read JW or Middle East Quarterly and the like. I lucked on to this purely be chance. This is the first I’ve heard of it. As far as students with evil intentions I’ve been aware of that for as long as I’ve been studying this issue. Here is my education:

      The Haj by Leon Uris
      The Source by James Michener
      Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld, (CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood), That’s Conspiring to Islamize America by Gaubatz and Sperry
      Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America by Brigitte Gabriel
      Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
      Slavery, Terrorism and Islam and Holocaust in Rwanda by Peter Hammond
      The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America by David Horowitz
      Ivory Towers On Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America by Martin Kramer
      Indoctrination U: The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom by David Horowitz
      The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism by Andrew G. Bostom
      The Legacy of Jihad by Andrew G. Bostom MD
      A Concise History of the Crusades by Thomas F. Madden
      The Book of Jewish Knowledge by Nathan Ausubel
      Justice Not Vengeance by Simon Wiesenthal
      The New Moody Atlas of the Bible by Barry J. Beitzel
      The Al Qaeda Reader by Raymond Ibrahim
      Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law
      Sahih al-Bukhari (With Sheikh Humaid’s article on Jihad and plug by Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid)
      The Koran: Pickthall
      Quran: Yusuf Ali: Translated by Prof. Syed Vickar Ahmed
      Holy Qur’an with Commentary: Maulana Muhammad Ali
      The Second Message of Islam by Mahmoud Mohamed Taha
      Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington by Paul Sperry
      American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us by Steven Emerson
      Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance by Pamela Geller
      Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores by Michelle (the hottest woman on the planet) Malkin
      Vince Flynn’s “Term Limits” as a solution to our political problems.

      And a few I plug as a public service:

      Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage and the Family by Stephen Baskerville
      The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men by Christina Hoff Sommers
      Plunder: How Public Employee Unions Are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation by Steven Greenhut
      Mean Justice: A true account of a prosecutor’s power and betrayel by Edward Humes
      One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors and Activist Judges Threaten You Liberty by Reosenzweig & Walsh
      The Man by Irving Wallace

      And here’s a poser for your Muslim buddies:

      If Islam is the religion of peace, where in Abdullah bin Humaid’s article on jihad can I find the equivalent of “Love Thy Neighbor”? “and good will toward men”? And explain its prominence, (and significance as almost an “Introduction”), in a book that’s considered second only to the Koran: My Summarized Sahih Al-Bukhari. Also address “jihad” as it’s defined in Reliance of the Traveller and answer the same question. Also compare Humaid’s “jihad” and Emmet Fox’ Sermon on the Mount and tell me which one best represents a spirit of Love and compassion.

  10. Mark S
    August 14, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Re Waldo Canyon wildfire, Colorado, I worked at admissions, University of Colorado Denver, and in 2010 they set up a student exchange program with Dar al-Hekma College in Jeddah. Turns out Dar al-Hekma was founded and funded by Specially Designated Global Terrorist Yasin al-Qadi, one of the people accused of funding the 911 attacks, and the exchange program is overseen by Zuhair Fayez, a friend of Qadi. I am therefore completely convinced this threat was not a hoax, and we very well may have admitted students to UCD who were waiting for a go signal, just like the one reported. Local media (Westword) report FBI and Homeland Security were on scene and very concerned about terrorist arson.

  11. l
    August 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Anyone that does not believe this is real, you need to Wake Up! It is real, it is happening, and we need to fight back before all the west is a soot bowl of ash. Terrorists know nothing but destruction and they are pure evil. Wake up before it is too late. Do the research online… this is a real threat and it is happening. This is no false flag.

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