Sunday, February 8, 2009

Australia's Victoria Bushfire: Arson, Probably; Muslim Plot? Unlikely!

"Muslims Jailed, Suspect Arrested: Terrorism and Australia's Bushfires Burn On"
(February 14, 2009))

"Islamic Website Called for 'Forest Jihad' - But Still No Evidence in Victoria"
(February 9, 2009))

I don't track individuals who visit my blogs, but I do keep track of data like referring pages and search strings.

One visitor to a post in another blog had Googled "muslim bushfire victoria" - without the quotation marks. The post ("Australia's Victoria State Bushfires: 65+ Dead" (Apathetic Lemming of the North (February 8, 2009)) doesn't contain the word "Muslim," but does discuss the disastrous fires in Victoria.

Intentionally set wildfires or bushfires would, I think, make an effective terror weapon. I discussed this possibility last year, when the Sierra Madre fire was burning. It was (barely) possible that last spring's big fire in California was an act of terror.

But - as I wrote then - "I seriously doubt it."

I'll say the same for Australia's lethal fires in Victoria. At least some were intentionally set: "Kieran Walshe, the deputy police commissioner for the state, said: 'When you look at the way fires started, you can clearly see it's not possible for a natural ignition to occur.' " (CNN)

But, that does not mean that Islamic terrorists were involved - or any other sort of terrorist, in the usual sense of the word. Arson - particularly on this scale - is criminal. But not necessarily an act of terrorism.

Related post: In the news:


Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

Thanks for posting on this. The main fires, those that caused the most deaths and destruction were just 20 miles North of our home ... One of my work collegues lost his life trying to flee the flames on Saturday afternoon ...

Brian H. Gill said...


My pleasure.

And, please allow me to extend my condolences.

daniel said...

But this study revealed this to be incorrect!
If I were to wager a guess at why, I’d say that users don’t “browse” forms. The interaction style users engage in with forms is different, and requires its own study and design best practices.

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Brian H. Gill said...


I haven't a clue what "study" you're referring to. Or how forms and browsing are involved.

On the chance that you're a human being and not an advertisement bot, I'm leaving your comment intact.

Maybe someone else can make sense of it.

Everybody else: I have no idea what that link on "daniel"'s comment leads to.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.