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Palestinian jihadist group claims credit for Arizona wildfire



A Palestinian jihadist group, Masada al Mujahideen, recently claimed credit for ongoing wildfires in Arizona in a statement posted to jihadist forums today. The statement, titled "Masada al-Mujahideen Fulfilled its Promise and Attacked America Again After the Expiration of the Period with Fires that Achieved Historic Results," was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

"We had previously announced an unconventional war against the occupation state of Israel, and then we escalated this war to reach its main supporter, America, so that it receives a major share of it, which will destroy their flora and fauna, with permission from Allah and then with our hands," the group said.

The statement further said that the group targeted the United States "in order to make it clear and to make it know we can reach it when we warn it, and to make it certain that our hands don't just reach it but also strike it."

The group warned that the attacks "will not be the last...if America does not respond to our demands." The statement boasted that 19 firefighters had been killed in the fires.

Contrary to the claims of Masada al Mujahideen, authorities have said that they believe the fires were started as a result of lighting.

Today's statement was not the first highly dubious claim by the jihadist group related to fires in the US. In January 2012, the group claimed credit for wildfires in Nevada.

According to SITE, in addition to claiming responsibility for fires in the US, the jihadist group has claimed credit for more than a dozen fires in Israel since 2010.

Masada al Mujahideen

Masada al Mujahideen announced its formation in April 2008 and said its leader is Abu Omar al Ansari, according to SITE. The terror group has claimed numerous attacks against Israel, including rocket and mortar attacks.

In May 2011, Masada al Mujahideen eulogized Osama bin Laden immediately after he was killed by US Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, Pakistan. "Although Sheikh Osama has been killed, his creed will not be killed, and the whole Ummah, Allah willing, is Osama bin Laden. We do not say that as hyperbole, for you see with your own eyes and acknowledge with your own mouths that most of the jihadi groups in the world have come to follow his example, method and creed," the group said in a statement that was translated by SITE.

Masada al Mujahideen also eulogized Atiyah Abd al Rahman, a top al Qaeda leader who was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan, Pakistan, in August 2011. "He was truly one of the well-known people of jihad and a bright star in the sky of knowledge," the group said in a statement translated by SITE. In addition, the group issued a eulogy for al Qaeda's Abu Yahya al Libi in September 2012. Al Libi was killed in a US drone strike in Mir Ali in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan on June 4, 2012.

Following the deaths in October 2012 of Abu al Walid al Maqdisi and Ashraf al Sabah, the two leaders of the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, the group threatened to carry out attacks against Israel and Hamas.



READER COMMENTS: "Palestinian jihadist group claims credit for Arizona wildfire"

Posted by mike merlo at July 3, 2013 7:28 PM ET:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KB54p8_wh8

Posted by Ken Prescott at July 4, 2013 9:17 AM ET:

Absent someone finding an ignition device or devices, I'm going with lightning.

Posted by Whats it Matter at July 4, 2013 9:52 AM ET:

Last I heard the fire that took the lives of 19 of our firefighters was caused by lightening and a major wind shift, not by a bunch of terrorists. So sorry charlie, no credit for you, guess again!

Posted by PhoenixDave at July 4, 2013 11:59 AM ET:

Sorry, but these fires were lighting caused. Unless, of course, Mohammad hiked several miles into the wilderness to strike a match. They are so lame to try and claim they are responsible for 19 firefighters lives. They are pond scum!

Posted by 1389AD at July 4, 2013 9:56 PM ET:

Terrorists wait until the weather conditions (drought, wind, heat) are just right, look for an area of forest with a lot of dead dry fuel, and then use a remote device to trigger ignition.

al Qaeda's Inspire magazines gives instructions for starting massive forest fires across the US.

Posted by Nancy at July 4, 2013 11:01 PM ET:

Watch this documentary film who's host and filmmaker was just featured on Fox (Sean Hannity). www.TheyCome to America.com
I live in Southern Arizona and know this is for real. Wake up in America, before it's too late!

Posted by Kathy at July 5, 2013 12:48 AM ET:

Looks like they are planting ideas. An idea like this could spread like wildfire.

Posted by Eric at July 5, 2013 6:54 AM ET:

Oh my! The dreaded time has come. The palestinian suicide bombers have discovered how to ride the lightning to martyrdom! Armed with a suicide lightning rod, they will walk out into heavy undergrowth, declare their allegiance to the almighty, and await the mighty jolt of Allah's wrath, as lightning is brought down upon the infidel brush and weeds from on high, destroying the enemy by brushfire.

I think we should encourage this unique form of suicidal behavior. We could even concoct a few videos that sensationalize suicide-bombing by means of using a lightning rod to start a wildfire.

Besides laughing ourselves sick over a few such perpetrators, found by the sherrif's office holding a copper pipe and yelling allahu akhbar, they woulld actually do the environment some good, since the forest services have fallen so far behind their schedule in keeping brushlands managed through the use of controlled burns.

Posted by Jeri at July 5, 2013 8:36 AM ET:

How about they used a simple match!!!!!!

Posted by jerimiah69 at July 5, 2013 12:17 PM ET:

I think we should continue blaming God and his lightenings..This would allow the Jihadists to continue starting the fires with no cosequent investigations...I would prefer we forget the lightening idea and search out this Jihadist group and prosecute them using their confession..If the fires continue then go after God..

Posted by Kay Rodriguez at July 5, 2013 1:42 PM ET:

Even if the claims are untrue, their mindset
is visible enough to deny their presence.
Tell me who you accept, I'll tell you who
you are.

Posted by Lis in alaska at July 5, 2013 1:46 PM ET:

Yes it can be done with just one person with a match. The is why we need to be much more controlling about who we let into our borders. This could be an almost insurmountable threat to our country now that they've got the idea, whether they really did this one or not. And the next one won't be in the woods but in cities.

Posted by Robert Powers at July 5, 2013 3:02 PM ET:

I understand why PhoenixDave says what he did....but...although a long time ago, I was crew boss of a fire fighting team...were were then told that almost all fires were caused by lightening...because doing an investigation of anything else was very time consuming and expensive...unless it was otherwise obvious, or someone admitted to it...

As far as extremists going miles into the wilderness goes, yes they will, and you would understand if you have ever been to Iraq or
Afghanistan, etc...also, there are very simple, very cheap, small radio controlled planes that will easily fly miles into an area before running out of fuel...easily crashing with NO obvious evidence surviving...that could and easily be used to start a fire or something else (water contaminant)....etc...

Believe it or not...these are actually training scenerios for DHS, FBI etc....but I will deny that I ever told you...

10/4?

Posted by Cal at July 6, 2013 11:30 PM ET:

Pure fiction. In fact, there's no evidence that Masada al Mujahideen actually exists.

Posted by Bob Smith at July 8, 2013 11:22 AM ET:

Truth - Fiction?

What kind of perverted group would want to take credit for this fire?

Islam.

Posted by Shari at July 15, 2013 3:42 PM ET:

Those in Egypt and around the globe need to understand the real reason for Palestinian existence. It is not to help the people, but to exact terror against them and everyone that doesn't agree with them. Billions,...Billions of dollars have gone to Palestinians to build hospitals, highways, schools, shopping places, fresh water, plumbing etc. Almost NONE of those billions have gone to the people. NEARLY all have gone to line the pockets of the leaders of Palestine and the terrorists organizations. Yet they blame America for Their Misery? How Demented is this?

Posted by Demokraut at July 31, 2013 4:55 AM ET:

Why would somebody claim credit for this if this was about a bunch of old white christian conservatives playing to their paranoia? Arizona ranchers have been finding Muslim prayer rugs on their property for quite some time. Terrorist organizations have been allying with Mexican drug cartels (like Hezbollah and Los Zetas), and working in conjunction with each other, so its very plausible that this could have been the work of Islamic terrorism. It's true we don't have a smoking gun yet, but we have circumstantial evidence that says this is very likely.