Al Qaeda Magazine Encourages Forest Fire Attacks

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In issue No. 9 of al Qaeda's English language "Inspire" magazine, there's a section called "Open Source Jihad."

In it, the author uses pictures and diagrams to show readers how to start forest fires in America using what he calls "ember bombs."

"I think the scariest thing about this is the extreme detail in which al Qaeda lays these instructions out," CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck said.

"They talk about the correct wind patterns to set a forest fire in," Stakelbeck explained. "The right season, the right time of year, the correct temperature - all designed to cause the maximum amount of carnage and death."

The article even urges would-be terrorists to target the state of Montana.

"In America, there are more houses built in the countryside than in the cities," the author wrote. "It is difficult to choose a better place than in the valleys of Montana where the population increases rapidly."

The instructions are so specific that it has fire experts concerned because of the extreme, dry weather conditions in much of the country now.

"It does not seem all that far fetched," one fire official said. "A wildfire moves quite quickly and can inflict damage. And if people have that intent, it's very frightening."

Produced by al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen, the two magazine issues are the first since the deaths of radical cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki and his editor.

"Although Anwar al-Awlaki is dead, his memory and influence live on," Stakelbeck said. "A young English speaking Muslim in Great Britain, in America, can dial up his sermons on YouTube (channel), he's easily accessible on the web through DVD, through CDs."

"So while Awlaki is dead, his influence lives on," Stakelbeck added.

The magazine profiles several jihadi-type activities, including pieces on how to construct remote-controlled explosives, tips on training with a handgun, how to be an urban assassin, and the use of chemical and biological weapons to attack the United States.

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CBN News
George Thomas

George Thomas

CBN News Sr. Reporter

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