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Forest Fire Wars-Growing Terrorist Threat

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By Mike Scruggs-According to William Scott, former editor of Aviation Week and former National Security Agency officer, when U.S. Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in his hideout in Pakistan, they found a treasure trove of detailed al-Qaeda plans for arson against U.S. and European forest and grass lands targets. Scott, now a fellow with the American Center for Democracy (ACD), said that both U.S. and Russian Federation counterterrorism officials have linked recent forest fires in Russia, California, and possibly Colorado with al-Qaeda arsonists. The ACD, headed by former U.S. CIA Director Ambassador James Woolsey, specializes in identifying economic warfare threats against the United States, including cyber-warfare, arson, and other atypical terrorism and warfare methods. They also maintain expertise in Middle Eastern affairs, political corruption, and foreign elections.

In the summer of 2012, Colorado officials found that 25 forest fires broke out in two counties within a 24-hour period. These have been attributed to deliberate arson.

They occurred not far from and just before the devastating Waldo Canyon fire lasting from June 23 through July 10. The Waldo Canyon fire was centered just 4 miles northwest of Colorado Springs and destroyed over 18,000 acres of forest land and 346 homes, killing two people The cause of this fire was not lightning. The cause has not yet been released to the public. In addition, 32,000 people had to be evacuated. The damage to homes is estimated to have been over $100 million. Fire-fighting expenses alone were over $15 million. The economic losses to businesses amounted to millions more. Total insurance claims were $454 million.

The Waldo Canyon fire was out of control within minutes as 55 to 65 miles per hour winds jumped the flames over several firebreaks. Witnesses described it as a huge tornado of fire with intensely hot winds. Whole neighborhoods of housing were quickly engulfed. It is utterly amazing that there were so few deaths. This certainly commends the work of fire, police, and other emergency personnel that fought the firestorm and safely evacuated thousands of families from its path. Their heroic effort prevented the economic disaster from becoming a fiery human holocaust

During several weeks of the summer of 2012, there were 52 major forest fires destroying valuable timberland and property and threatening human life across the United States, all at the same time. Was it all just the weather? Hot and dry weather conditions and acreage filled with dead trees make our forests vulnerable to naturally caused forest fires. These conditions also make them prime targets for arson. We now know that some of the forest fires of 2012 and 2013 were caused by foreign agents. But how many, and how can they be prevented in the future?

Until June 2013, the Waldo Canyon fire was by far the worst forest fire in Colorado history. But beginning on June 11, a forest fire near Black Forest, Colorado, also only a few miles north of Colorado Springs, destroyed 511 homes and took three lives. The fires were finally contained on June 20. Approximately 15,000 acres were destroyed, and damage to homes was estimated at $90 million. The full extent of insurance claims is still unknown at this time. The cost of deploying over 450 firefighters ran over $10 million, not counting the involvement of the Colorado National Guard and U.S. Air Force units.

Several recent internal publications of al-Qaeda give instructions for building and setting off multiple “ember” bombs by remote control. Fire warfare against our timberlands, grasslands, and nearby populated areas is praised as an inexpensive, low-risk method of jihad with high potential of massive destruction and economic paralysis.

The people of Colorado, their firefighters, National Guard units, and other civilian emergency agencies deserve high credit for containing these fires with little loss of life.

But will the Federal Government of the United States open its eyes to the fact that forest fires can no longer be treated as a land management problem alone? We have a serious national security problem that is being covered up and largely ignored. We are also not fully prepared to fight these fire warfare attacks. Scott believes the USAF and Air Guard units need to be equipped with large tanker aircraft for fighting uncontrolled fires.

Our frontline failure to protect our forests, economy, homes, and people lies with our shameful lack of immigration enforcement both at the borders and internally within the United States. Internal enforcement is in a near total state of neglect.

Immigration laws are primarily to protect the American people from foreign threats. This includes not only national security and public safety concerns, but also economic threats. Immigration policy is crucial to protecting American workers and taxpayers from unjust loss of jobs and pay and unfair tax burdens.

Our present immigration policies are based on politics and big money from cheap labor. American workers, taxpayers, and national security are taking a back seat to special political and economic interests. We need to wake up to our folly, or we will find that our country and our families live in constant fear of terrorist attacks as well as growing economic misery caused by both terrorist threats and immigration policies that place American workers, families, taxpayers, and values a distant second to political and commercial special interests.

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