Alexander Bortnikov, The Chief of the FSB — the Russian government’s security bureau and the modern-day counterpart to the KGB — says Al-Qaeda is responsible for wildfires that ravaged Europe recently, according to multiple Russian news outlets.
The tactic has been dubbed “forest jihad.”
While speaking at a security conference in Moscow, Bortnikov highlighted arson’s ability to inflict widespread damage and elude law enforcement with minimal effort or cost:
“Forest fires in European Union countries should be considered one of the new trends in Al Qaeda’s ‘thousand cuts’ strategy. This approach allows them to inflict significant damage on the economy and morale without any serious preparation, technical equipment, or financial outlay”
The Moscow Times reports that Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Federation, and other environmental groups reacted to the FSB’s comments with scepticism, noting the lack of evidence to substantiate Bortnikov’s claims.
Thousands had ben forced to evacuate due to a Spanish fire last month.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.