Conflict & Justice

Al Qaeda website instructs how to firebomb Australian targets


Australian Defense Force soldiers line Robertson Barracks grounds during a parade to farewell 450 Australian troops before their deployment to Iraq May 10, 2007 in Darwin, Australia.


Terry Trewin

Al Qaeda has named Australia as a prime target for terrorism by firebombing in an online terrorism magazine.

The news came a day after warnings by the Australian Defense minister that documents seized from Osama bin Laden's Pakistan hideout after his death in a Navy SEAL raid last year showed Australians still needed to be vigilant about the threat of terrorism.

AAP quoted Stephen Smith as saying that threats against Western targets threat were among the reasons Australia stayed committed to the war in Afghanistan.

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"We don't want Afghanistan to return to an international terrorist breeding ground or home base," Smith said.

Personal correspondence seized by US special forces show that bin Laden remained focused on attacking Americans and coming up with new terror plots.

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However, according to the Fairfax press in Australia, an article in Al Qaeda's online magazine Inspire, encourages agents to start wildfires in Australia during the peak danger seasons.

The article, titled ''It is of your freedom to ignite a firebomb,'' gives a step-by-step guide to building an ''ember bomb."

It is accompanied by a picture of the Sydney Opera House with smoke clouds behind it, captioned ''Sydney city on fire.''

Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon condemned the article but reassured the public that there was no imminent terrorist threat against Australia.

However, she conceded that the threat of violent extremism in Australia remained.