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This is no jungle jihad, say cops

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

world Updated: Feb 11, 2009 23:50 IST

Australian police on Wednesday dismissed any suggestion that the wildfires — which 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. A spokesman said there was no suspicion they were Islamic terror attacks. “We usually rank possibilities on a scale of 0 to 10 — this would be on a negative scale,” Superintendent Ross McNeill said.

A report, carried by Melbourne's The Age newspaper on September 7, said the Al-Ikhlas Islamic Network argues lighting fires is an effective form of terrorism justified in Islamic law under the doctrine of an “eye for an eye”. It calls on Muslims to remember “forest jihad” in summer, saying fires cause economic damage.