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Two Terrorism Links

I promise this isn't going to turn into a link blog. If I'm lucky, my next substantive post might even talk about the environment (which is supposedly my main topic here).

Earlier this week, when I saw the news about al-Qaida second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri soliciting questions from people who (claim to) support the group's goals, all I could think of was the classic Onion article, "Klan Rally 70 Percent Undercover Reporters."

There has been some excitement on some right-wing blogs over a report that some person posted a call for "forest fire jihad," i.e. for radical Muslims to set wildfires in the U.S. as a form of terrorism. There's no indication that the person in question has any significant standing in al-Qaida or any other Islamist group, nor that any such group has developed any detailed strategy of arson. It's true that, historically, wildfire has been a weapon of war -- the Japanese actually started sending incendiary baloons across the Pacific during World War II, though the scheme was a total failure -- and in particular, it has been a popular tool of non-state actors engaging in resistance to the government. But I hope the "forest fire jihad" idea doesn't lead to wildfire policy getting sucked into the war on terror paradigm.


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