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FROM THE EDITOR: We will be on a lesser schedule for posts through Friday. Travel commitments for your editor. Thank you for your continued support.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Australia Arson suspect arrested: Muslim Jihadi?

DEVELOPING

Reuters is reporting that a suspect has been arrested in the deadly wild fires around Victoria. Says the news agency: "The death toll could rise to over 300."

Earlier police had released a composite photo of the suspect.


London Daily Telegraph, Feb. 12:

The man in the composite photo, who police say... has a dark complexion, is believed to have information about a suspicious fire at Ivanhoe East, in Melbourne's north-east.

He was apparently seen in the area wearing black trousers, a polo shirt and yellow sunglasses and carrying a black rucksack.
However, now police are not releasing a photo of the suspect, whom they arrested, nor his name.

From Reuters video:

"There's enough emotion, there's enough harm in the community at the moment, we all understand that, but we don't need any more." -- Victoria Police Spokesperson
For days now, Australian and other blogs worldwide have been speculating on a Jihadi connection to the fires. Others are offering evidence to suggest that Jihadis even set the fires that raged through California last summer.

From Free Britania - Conservative Voice:

US intelligence channels earlier this year identified a website calling on Muslims in Australia, the US, Europe and Russia to "start forest fires", claiming "scholars have justified chopping down and burning the infidels' forests when they do the same to our lands".

The website, posted by a group called the Al-Ikhlas Islamic Network, argues in Arabic that lighting fires is an effective form of terrorism justified in Islamic law under the "eye for an eye" doctrine.
And Israel National News reported:

A report from September 2008 warned that Australia had been singled out as a target for a "forest jihad" by a group urging Muslims to deliberately light bushfires as a weapon of terror.

The website, reportedly run by a group called the Al-Ikhlas Islamic Network, "argues in Arabic that lighting fires is an effective form of terrorism justified in Islamic law under the 'eye for an eye' doctrine."
Note - Libertarian Republican Jim Fryar of Australia has a full report on the fires and analysis of the Jihadi angle at our sister blog WorldWide Liberty.

24 comments:

Jim Fryar said...

At this point of course we know little other than there has been an arrest. I am sharing some of your suspicions though, over the refusal to release a name 'for the safety of the suspect' despite his removal from the area.

Whoever this bastard is though, the fire he is accused of lighting killed more than 20 people, and it is possible that is not the only one. I am hoping that there is not an Islamic angle to this as we have traditionally had fairly good relations with the majority of these people going back a century.

Mark said...

Setback for the Muslim image:

Muslim leader in Buffalo loses his mind, wife loses her head

ccoffer said...

Peaceful farmers!

Capital G said...

This HAS to be an organized effort.

You don't have this many people 'just decide' to set a forest fire intentionally.

I don't doubt maybe a small percent of them are just twisted idiots - but let's just say I wasn't shocked to see this composite photo.

I lean heavily toward 'forest jihad' at this point with a slight chance of random idiots.

Also, I think your article is a little confusing.

A 39 year old was arrested (with child porn) in the Churchill-Jeeralang fire. We do not know anything about his appearance.

This composite photo is of a man that is NOT in custody to my knowledge. He is being sought for questioning in a different fire - the East Ivanhoe fire.

Jim Fryar said...

Capital G; I was not aware that the composite is for a suspect in a different fire.

This guy is not of aboriginal appearance, most likely Pakistani - definitely Sub Continent though. I am not sure though that it was an organized effort, a fire tends to bring out fire lighters, but it looks like a strong possibility.

Eric Dondero said...

Not to be too American here, but I'm a bit more concerned about what this means for my own country.

This opens up a whole new line of investigation.

Why isn't anyone calling for a renewed look at last year's California wildfires? Los Angeles is inunndated with Islamic radicals. How hard would it be for one of those extremists from a local Mosque to go out into the hills in San Bernadino, and Ventura, and flip a match on the ground? All the while, saying "Allah Ahu-Akbar."

Capital G said...

Well, I post at a 'multi partisan' forum and you could not believe the vitriolic responses I have recieved from Aussies for even MENTIONING the possibilty of this being a 'forest jihad'.

One poster there is an Aussie firefighter - and she is livid with my acusation. Calims to know the family of the 39 year old and claims he is a local.

Here are the links to the posts if anyone is interested.

I am Mr Purple there- and yeah - I sort of do rile things up a bit - but the responses got a little out of hand.

Still viable in Mainstream news:

http://www.sqlspace.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=62160

Sent to the Dungeon - you can still post there - but it is a virtual no man's land for views and discussion:

http://www.sqlspace.com/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=62199

They even freaked when I outted the 'Sam the Koala' story. To the dungeon!:

http://www.sqlspace.com/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=62217

Eric, I've seen you at HA - and always appreciate your insight across the web.

If you got a minute - take a peek and drop a thought there.

I'd appreciate it.

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