Ohio University

Dabelko quoted in recent article about wildfires and unfounded focus on “forest jihad”

Intercept forest fires

Geoffrey Dabelko, Environmental Studies professor and associate dean at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, was quoted in a recent article for The Intercept about law enforcement’s unfounded focus on “forest jihad,” or global terrorism waged through wildfires.

The article explains how law enforcement agencies have been on the lookout, behind the scenes, for terrorists setting forest fires, even as wildfires raged across the American West. Documents obtained by The Intercept show that post-9/11 paranoia influenced law enforcement to focus on terrorism rather than a very real threat when it comes to forest fires: climate change.

“I have not heard forestry scenarios outside the FBI’s often politicized and over-hyped focus on domestic environmental groups like Earth First that spike trees to prevent cutting or set fire to infrastructure within forests,” Dabelko said in the article. “I also have not heard of the term ‘jihad’ associated with any U.S. government or researcher efforts.”

The article quotes experts in forestry and environmental security. There is no indication that a terrorist has ever set forest fires in America, writes Intercept reporter Murtaza Hussain.

To read the full article, click here.