Police dismiss ‘forest jihad’

Australian police Wednesday dismissed any suggestion the wildfires that have killed more than 180 people could have been started by Islamic militants waging “forest jihad“.

Police believe some of the fires that ripped through southeast Australia since the weekend were started by arsonists, but a spokesman said there was no suspicion they were Islamic terror attacks.

“None at all, absolutely nothing, zero,” Superintendent Ross McNeill told AFP. “We usually rank possibilities on a scale of 0 to 10 – this would be on a negative scale,” he said.

AFP, 11 February 2009