Fire jihad in Australia? The unconventional and lethal weapon of the Islamic State

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, Jan 11: Could there be a Jihadi link to the wildfires that have been ravaging Australia?

Fire Jihad is not a new concept and has been a threat for several years now. An Al-Qaeda magazine had in an article titled 'Unleash Hell,' had described in detail how to start a huge forest fire across the United States.

Last year, an ISIS-linked media had termed the California fires as retribution for Syria. Now the Australian police have accused Fadi and Abraham Zreika of starting a grassfire.

The police said that the two had sparked a grass fire at Bright Park, Guildford on December 22. The two were charged with negligent handling of explosives, refusing to disclose identity and custody of a knife in a public place.

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Thousands of animals have lost their lives in these fires. What worse was that when the accused were produced before the court, there was not a sign of remorse and they were seen laughing.

Fire Jihad:

In 2012, the Al-Qaeda in its magazine, 'Inspire' had spoken about the concept of Fire Jihad. It said in America there are more houses built in the countryside than in the cities. It is difficult to choose a better place in the valleys of Montana. It also goes on to give advice on how to start huge forest fires in America.

The article says, "it is your freedom to ignite an ember bomb in a US forest. It recommends Montana because of the fast-growing population in the wooded areas."

In 2018, one media outlet that supports the Islamic State suggested that the wildfires in California were the handiwork of the Jihadi group. The Al-Ansar Media said, 'O America, this is the punishment of bombing Muslims in Syria. This is Allah's punishment for you and inshallah you will see more fires."

The Australian police are still investigating the forest fires. The ISIS and the Al-Qaeda are known to have used unconventional methods to carry out strikes.

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Unconventional Jihad:

The Islamic State has been using odd weapons to carry out strikes. In the Nice attack at France, the weapon was a truck. Even the Al-Qaeda has on several occasions asked its terrorists to use vehicles as weapons. The concept of vehicle ramming was however started by the terrorists at Palestine.

The Al-Qaeda had termed the truck as the ultimate mowing machine. Pick up the truck, not to mow grass, but to mow the enemies, the terror group had also said. Islamic State leader, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani had said if you are unable to find an IED or a bullet, run your enemy with a car. There are cars available and targets ready to kill. Kill them, spit on their faces and run them over with your cars, Adnani also said.

He further said that rocks, poison and knives can be weapons of choice. It is also alright to push your enemy down from a high place, he also says.

In case you are unable to find an IED or bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman or any of their allies. Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.

The use of these unconventional weapons or starting a forest fire is easier for terrorists. These are weapons that do not come under the radar of the agencies like a gun or IED would.

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