A Palestinian jihadist group, Masada al Mujahideen, recently claimed credit for ongoing wildfires in Arizona in a statement posted to jihadist forums Wednesday. 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.
According to reporter David Barnett, a Palestinian jihadist group, Masada al Mujahideen, has recently claimed credit for the ongoing wildfires in Arizona in a statement that was posted to a jihadist forum on Wednesday.
Barnett reports 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 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.
Authorities contradict Masada al-Mujahideen’s claims, saying that they believe the fires were started by lightning.
This was not the first highly dubious claim by the jihadist group relating to their responsibility for fires in the United States. In January of 2012, they also 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 over a dozen fires in Israel since 2010. They have also claimed numerous attacks on Israel other than the fires, including rocket and mortar attacks.
Masada al-Mujahideen announced its formation in April of 2008, claiming Abu Omar al Ansari as its leader.
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.
Whether their claims are true or not is anyone’s guess. However, Pamela Geller points out:
Al Qaeda, has long urged the setting of forest fires as a form of jihad (holy war). In its Spring 2012 edition, al-Qaeda’s English-language online magazine, Inspire, published an article called “It Is of Your Freedom to Ignite a Firebomb,” which featured instructions on how to build an incendiary bomb to light forests on fire.
What should disturb everyone is that anyone would claim responsibility for such atrocities. While the cause being lightning as the authorities claim is likely accurate, one would have to remember that the “authorities” also tell us that the Fort Hood terrorist attack was workplace violence and the Benghazi terrorist attack was brought on by a YouTube video!