A clearly emotional prime minister likened the alleged arson to mass murder (Terrorism Forest Jihad).
Forest Fire Jihad Being Threatened On Terrorist Websites last year. A terrorist website was discovered recently that carried a posting that called for “Forest Jihad.” The posting was listed on the Internet on Nov. 26 and reported in U.S. intelligence channels last week. The statement, in Arabic, said that “summer has begun so do not forget the Forest Jihad.”The writer called on all Muslims in the United States, Europe, Russia and Australia to “start forest fires.” The posting quoted imprisoned Al Qaida terrorist Abu Musab Al-Suri, as saying “Jihad is an art just like poetry, music, and the fine arts. There are people that draw and there are others that are jihadists. They both act upon inspiration.”
The death toll stood at 135 in Australia. The scale of the carnage, growing daily, has shocked a nation that endures deadly firestorms every few years. There were no quick answers, but officials said panic and the freight-train speed of the firefront probably accounted for the unusually high toll.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, visibly upset during a television interview, reflected the country's disgust at the idea that arsonists may have set some of the 400 fires that devastated Victoria state, or helped them jump containment lines. "What do you say about anyone like that?" Rudd said. "There's no words to describe it, other than it's mass murder." (Terrorism Forest Jihad)
Most of the damage was done by two massive fires - one that virtually wiped out towns northeast of Melbourne, Victoria including Kinglake and Marysville with a 100km front - and a second inferno that raced across Gippsland.
TV veteran Brian Naylor and his wife Moiree were among the dead. The pair died when the fire at Kinglake swept through their property. Bushfire experts told news.com.au that blazes with a danger rating of 100 are considered uncontrollable. Saturday's fire thet raged through Victoria had a rating of 400.
MELBOURNE, Feb. 3, 2009 (Reuters) — An Australian court sentenced a Muslim cleric to 15 years jail Tuesday for leading a terrorist cell that planned to bomb a football match in Melbourne Victoria in 2005, ending Australia's biggest terrorism trial, local media reported.
The Victoria state Supreme Court sentenced the Muslim cleric to 15 years jail, along with six other Muslims to jail terms ranging from four to seven-and-a-half years, on Tuesday for plotting to bomb a football match in Melbourne in 2005, ending Australia's biggest terrorism trial, local media reported. The attack, aimed at forcing Australia to withdraw troops from Iraq, did not take place.
Abdul Nacer Benbrika, 48, was sentenced on three charges, receiving 15 years for directing a terrorist group, seven years for being a member of a terrorist group and five years for possessing a CD connected with the planning of a terrorist act. Benbrika will serve the terms concurrently. The Victoria state Supreme Court sentenced six other Melbourne Muslims to jail terms ranging from four to seven-and-a-half years, said local media at the court.
Australia's largest terrorism trial saw 12 men initially charged with planning to attack a grand final football match in Australia's second-largest city, Melbourne, attended by 97,000 fans. Seven were convicted in late 2008 (5 suspected terrorists were let go).
"The group may have indeed only have been an embryonic terrorist organization but the organization fostered and encouraged its members to engage in violent jihad and to perform a terrorist act," said Judge Bernard Bongiorno in handing down the sentences.
WBI Inc Private Detective Agency