Burton fire officials have taken note of a recent Info-Gram from the Emergency Management and Response-Information Sharing & Analysis Center, which states an article in “Rumiyah,” a propaganda magazine produced by the Islamic State, called for pyroterrorism and encouraged the setting of fires in populated and forested areas.
Terrorists have studied fire as a weapon for over a decade because of its ease of use, effectiveness, low costs and the low risk of apprehension, according to the fire department.
Articles encouraging use of fire as a weapon have appeared on known terrorist blogs and Al-Qaida’s “Inspire” magazine.
Burton fire officials are hoping to reshape the public’s perception of fire as no longer an unfortunate community event, but as the weapon it can be, and in doing so asks the public to support local fire departments.
“This new global war on terrorism lies down any street in any community,” said Burton firefighter Daniel Byrne, “and firefighters are not only the first responders to these events, but also the first line of defense against pyroterrorism.”
Byrne said the public’s support for fire codes, sprinkler systems and departmental budgets are more important now than ever.
“While the (forest) fires in Tennessee were not the result of terrorism, but simply two boys with matches, we all watched how devastating, costly and resource taxing those fires were.”