Thursday, February 21, 2013

Forest Service: Pyroterrorism a Threat in the U.S.

Fire has long been used as a weapon through history and continues to be an effective means of terrorism to this day. In his keynote address at the Firehouse World conference in San Diego, Robert Baird, Deputy National Fire Director, Fire and Aviation Management, U.S. Forest Service, said pyroterrorism is something all responders need to be prepared to combat. “Arson in the [Wildland/Urban interface] is a real threat,” said Baird in his keynote comments. “Anything we can do to reduce it is a real accomplishment." Baird gave a quick review of the use of arson and pyroterrorism throughout modern history, starting with the fire balloon bombs Japan launched on the mainland United States during World War II. Of the 9,000 launched, 300 hit the mainland. It was also identified as a military weapon during the Vietnam War. The attacks on the World Trade Center were also a case of pyroterrorism in his mind, Baird said, noting that Osama Bin Laden was a civil engineer and knew the effect the fuel on the planes would have. In 2004, the FBI came upon intelligence and issued an alert to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) suggesting that Al Queda had plans to start wildland fires in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, Baird said, noting that all the material he was presenting was unclassified information and his interpretations and analysis were his own...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Warning given in 2004 about wildfire terrorism but then major wildfires. What are we doing with the intelligence?...Oh! excuse me! I forgot it's Washington, and we are worried about school kids getting too fat. If a few trees burn so what?