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Aussie Bushfires - A possible terrorist weapon ? My thoughts.

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posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 08:46 AM
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At the moment Sydney is surrounded by bushfires; one started by a cigarette and the rest thought to be possible arson.
We have destructive bushfires in the outer suburbs of Sydney every couple of years. They can be devastating destroying 1000's of hectares of land and property. Because most of the trees in the Bush are Eucolyptus trees. The oil in their leaves generates intense firestorms, with trees exploding sometimes as far as 500m from the firefront; and flames travelling at freeway speeds.
I live in Northern Sydney and there is a bushfire 15 km away, the sirens from the firetrucks have been going all day and now all night.

Anyway, it is my contention that terrorists could cause extensive damage here by deliberately starting bushfires.
Think of 2 or 3 men in a van with a mortar. Using white phospherous ( 'willie pete' ) rounds they could lob them from the roads as far as 5-8 km into the bush. If they spent a couple of hours doing this around the outskirts of Sydney; it would create a firestorm impossible to stop, destroying the outer suburbs of Sydney.
This method could be used anywhere there is bushland.
The damage would mainly economic with relativel little loss of life, due to evacuation. Maybe this would stop the terrorists from considering this.




posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 10:10 AM
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It's kind of funny I felt the same way about Foot and Mouth Disease here in Britain.

Though it can not be dismissed.Terrorists generally claim responsibility.Otherwise their main weapon,fear,is redundent.



posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 10:22 AM
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I think I even read somewhere in the papers where people were expousing the theory that F and M had been deliberately spread to destroy the British livestock industry.
But like I was saying before, terrorists seem to kill to spread fear as you said JB.



posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 10:49 AM
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This of course is purely hyperthetical(In case anybody from the CIA does read these posts)but if I were a leading member of Al Qaeda I would be claiming responsibility for the Bush Fires and Foot and mouth.Just imagine the crack down that Australia would be having now.Everyone would be a suspect.Muslims would be detained which would cause more resentment.I would claim responsibility for any disaster that could be attributed to humans.



posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 11:00 AM
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A bush fire isn't a particularly usefull terrorist act as you cannot substantiate deliberacy.

Terrorism isn't about causing maximum destruction, its about causing maximum terror with maximum accountability to your cause.

a car bomb, a hijacking, they're all high media acts of terror with a recognisable human foe. Terrorists aren't about anonimity as it does nothing for their cause.

It would be hard to claim responsibility for a bush fire.....guess you could video yourself or somthing....



posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by Lupe_101
A bush fire isn't a particularly usefull terrorist act as you cannot substantiate deliberacy.

It would be hard to claim responsibility for a bush fire.....guess you could video yourself or somthing....


The firefighters here are expert in identifying the point of origin of a bushfire. If the terrorists did use mortars then there would be substantial evidence from the shell casings.
It's highly unlikely of course, just a bit a speculation on my part.
On the other hand if done properly ( the only obstacle being the hardware ) it would cause a huge loss of property and potentially a guge loss of life. Especially as the bush at the moment is tinder dry due to the drought.

PS. Interesting note, we have just been put on water restrictions in Sydney.

[Edited on 5-12-2002 by mad scientist]



posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 11:11 AM
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I suppose.
we don't have bush here so I don't really understand the effect so I suspect they're less "shocking" in nature to me.

It just feels that they lack that sort of spontenious carnage aspect terrorist attacks seem to utalise.

one of the reasons terrorists are so successful in generating terror is that their methods are random shocking and explosive. they instill a paranoia of walking down the street never sure when your lifes about to explode.

A bush fire seems too much of a progressive arduous threat......I mean most people know that theres a fire before it catches up with them. as you said they evacuate.....that doesn't in my opinion generate the sort of terror people like al quaida are trying to generate.



posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 11:13 AM
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The terror would come from the belief that the fires were being started in a co-ordinated way.Terrorist could claim that they were merely using cigarettes.It needn't be true but the effect would be the same and much worse than if the Australian population believed it were just some ignorant fool throwing a cigarette butt out of the window.



posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 11:18 AM
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Why go through the trouble of mortar rounds? Some determined folks could do all they need on foot, since I'm sure constant oversight of every hectare is not done by the authorities...wouldn't be sensible.
I think it has great terrorist value - easily initiated, dramatic in effect and appealing to our primal fears.
Their intent is to cast a black cloud over rampant imperialism and western decadence......fires do that literally.
I think it could be, yes. But I think it will be an unfortunate lesson to the egotists who run our governments: spend all you want on bombers, gadgets and uniforms. We'll cripple you with matches, some refrigerator grown E coli in your reservoir and all the other simple tools at our disposal. So go ahead, waste your wealth.



posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by Lupe_101

A bush fire seems too much of a progressive arduous threat......I mean most people know that theres a fire before it catches up with them. as you said they evacuate.....that doesn't in my opinion generate the sort of terror people like al quaida are trying to generate.


Last year we had some bad fires in southern Sydney, where a fire was throwing fireballs 700m across a river. These same fireballs can explode out of valleys into houses enveloping them instantly.

But yes, bushfires can move extremely quickly and grow geometrically. As i said before as well the conditions in Australia at the moment are bine dry with no sign of rain.



posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by Bout Time
Why go through the trouble of mortar rounds? Some determined folks could do all they need on foot, since I'm sure constant oversight of every hectare is not done by the authorities...wouldn't be sensible.


True but I was thinking mortars, more for the effficeincy of starting the fires in a the shortest period of time. It would hours to walk into the bush and light a fire, let alone doing it dozens of times over a several hundred km route around the outskirts. As well if you didn't move quickly after lighting the fire it would probably catch you. Plus your chances of getting caught by the authorities would be extremely slim.

I found some pictures which shows what they're capable of :


These were the Christmas 2001 Sydney fires
'Since the blazes began on Christmas Eve, they have burned more than 1.2 million acres of bushland around Sydney, and destroyed more than 170 homes. As of Friday (Jan. 4), 80 fires were still burning across New South Wales. '

Link to satellite picture of Sydney fires. Definately worth lookking at



[Edited on 5-12-2002 by mad scientist]



posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 12:29 PM
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those are big friggin fires!



posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 02:26 PM
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True, mortars are efficent, and the fires are quick moving. We had that same problem in our Western States with millions of acres burning and evacuating towns.
I am of the firm belief that THAT will be the next tier of terrorism as we see it: attack of the natural and unprotected resources that are critical to keeping the western world in it's comfort zone. Think of the resevoirs and how huge they are...now tyhink of how they are policed and how little it takes to contaminate drinking water.
You have massive pine forests that would explode under heat because of the resins, and spread rapidly.
In other words, what can cause havoc is easily accessed and impossible to fully protect.



posted on Dec, 5 2002 @ 03:31 PM
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I read in the Sydney papers a couple of weeks ago how our water supply was vulnerable. The article said that as little as 50g of a WWII grade bio agent was enough to contaminate the main Sydney dam.



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