Terrorists who want to strike fear in the hearts of Americans would do well to set wildfires in Montana, al-Qaida advises in the most recent issue of its English-language magazine, Inspire.
“It is difficult to choose a better place other than in the valleys of Montana where the population increases rapidly,” Inspire’s “AQ Chef” columnist writes.
The magazine disappeared for a while after its founders, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, were killed last year in a U.S. missile strike.
But it recently reappeared online, its grammatically challenged cover urging “It is of your freedom to ignite a firebomb.” Inside, the AQ Chef gives three pages detailing the recipe for an “ember bomb” — along with the suggestion to deploy such bombs in Montana.
News of the Inspire article spread among federal agencies Thursday.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture, including the U.S. Forest Service, works closely with its partners within the intelligence community, including both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice on any terrorist threats, including threats of this nature,” said Forest Service spokesman Brandan Schulze.
“We are asking Forest Service employees, law enforcement and the general public to continue to be vigilant for any signs of wildfires, and to report unusual circumstances or situations that seem out of the ordinary for outdoor recreation on all public lands,” he said.
The Inspire article states that America has more houses in the “country sides” than cities, and tells readers that on Aug. 6, 2000, “wildfires extended on the sides of a valley, south of Darby town.
“Six separated fires started and then met to form a massive fire that burnt down tens of houses.”
The 2000 wildfires were the Northern Rockies’ worst in 50 years.
In Montana alone, nearly 1 million acres burned, more than one-third of that in the Bitterroot National Forest.
The article also mentions destructive wildfires in Australia in 2002 and in 1983, and asks, “Is it possible for us to cause a similar destructive impact using a similar weapon?”