DENVER (CBS4)– Al-Qaida is urging prospective terrorists to burn down America’s forests. The information comes from an online magazine started by an influential terrorist leader who attended school in Colorado.
Anwar Al-Awlaki was assassinated by a U.S. drone strike in September 2011 in Yemen.
Before the Colorado-educated terror figure died he created a way to appeal online to Western sympathizers with a tactic that hits close to home.
In the most recent issue of Al-Qaida’s English language magazine that the threat is made.
Joseph Ruffini is a retired Army Lt. Col. and terrorism expert with JPR & Associates. he said people shouldn’t be worried but be vigilant about such a threat from Al-Qaida.
“Whenever they publish a reminder to people that forest fires are a good way to drain local and federal assets and they tell kids specific ways how to start the fires, the threat becomes a little more real,” said Ruffini.
The online magazine does that and includes instructions on how to build a firebomb.
Another page makes note that there are more houses built on the country sides than cities, specifically mentioning Montana. Much the same could be said for Colorado.
The English language approach to prospective terrorists comes directly from now-dead terrorist Al-Awlaki who went to college at Colorado State University.
“Even though Al-Awlaki was killed last September, like Osama bin Laden, his legacy lives on and his legacy I think, now, is inspiring the online magazine,” said Ruffini.
FBI spokesman Dave Joly released this statement regarding the potential threat, “The FBI and DHS regularly issue bulletins for the situational awareness of our federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners on issues that may potentially impact them. With respect the bulletin in question, the FBI currently has no specific credible information that international terrorist organizations are planning action against the United States because of these events, although the potential impact of such an act necessitates continued vigilance from federal, state, local, tribal, and private security entities.”
“In addition, the U.S. intelligence community continues to receive information from a variety of sources about potential terrorist activities. All information is analyzed to the fullest extent possible and anything that is deemed to have any possible credibility is provided to law enforcement for their situational awareness.”