MOSCOW, October 4 (Itar-Tass) – Whatever the initial reaction to the reports on Al Qaida agents’ setting forests in Europe ablaze, any data on the intentions of the terrorist organization should be treated most seriously, Alexander Bortnikov, the director of Russia’s Federal Security Service /FSB/ said Thursday.
“It’d really sad to see these warnings materialize, since their words match their deeds and practice proves this,” Bortnikov told reporters when they asked him to comment on a relevant part of his speech at a conference of the heads of intelligence services in Moscow.
He recalled that the information on Al Qaida’s involvement in the starting-up of wildfires in the European Union had appeared on a number of extremist websites. “This means we should be prepared for any turn that the events may take,” Bortnikov said.
Tuesday, Bortnikov said at the 11th conference of heads of security services and law enforcement agencies in Moscow that Al Qaida had changed over to the so-called strategy of ‘a thousand cuts’, in line with which it had set a number of fires to forest areas in Europe.
“This method makes it possible to inflict a considerable economic and moral damage without any large-scale preparations, assimilation of equipment or financial expenses,” he said. “In addition, the chances of exposure of the arsonists by security services are close to zero.”
“Proof of a purported character of this activity is found in the instructions on how to organize a ‘forest jihad’, including the recommendations on selecting the sites and choosing the techniques of covert retreat that have been uploaded on a number of extremist Internet sites and forums,” Bortnikov said.