The Telegraph--Al-Qaeda has been blamed for a recent series of forest fires across Europe, as the head of Russia's Federal Security Service claimed they were set by arsonists as part of the group's low-cost attack strategy.
"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."
In linking al-Qaeda to the deadly wildfires, Mr Bortnikov pointed to calls to launch a "forest jihad" by various extremist websites which he said also publish detailed instructions about how and where to best carry out arson.
He said it was very difficult for special services to find and prosecute such arsonists.
Deadly fires have swept through forest land in EU countries such as Portugal and Spain over the past few months, killing scores of people and forcing thousands to evacuate. (Continue Reading.)
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Al-Qaeda Blamed for European Forest Fires
The "death by a thousand cuts" strategy is actually more dangerous than the typical terrorist strategy (e.g. blowing up buildings). Large-scale attacks require large-scale preparation, and Western security organizations have a good track record of stopping large-scale attacks. But when terrorists simply say, "Hey, let me go start a fire in the woods," and they repeat such attacks over and over, they do cumulative damage without much risk to the terrorists.