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Smoke from Israel fire seen from space

Although Israel officially denies it, the al-Qaida-linked Masada al-Mujahidin, or Lions of the Mujahidin in Palestine, have claimed responsibility for starting the fire that devastated the forests of Mount Carmel, saying it was in retaliation for the death of fighters in the Gaza Strip, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The Masada al-Mujahidin posted a video message on jihadist forums declaring responsibility.

If al-Qaida did cause the devastating fire, it would be the first time the terrorist organization has struck inside Israel, even though it has threatened attacks on Israel over the years.

The terrorist group said it started the fire “performing a holy and heroic expedition within the territory of the usurpers on occupied Mount Carmel setting fire to its trees, causing the deaths of more than 40 people and wounding dozens, as recognized by the enemy itself.”

The fire also caused the evacuation of some 17,000 people and burned some 3,400 hectares, or 8,500 acres, and destroyed more than four million trees, along with many homes. The fire reportedly was threatening the suburbs of Haifa.

The terrorist group thanked the wind “which was one of the soldiers of Allah, for his help, by expanding the flames to where we never thought, so that the enemy was not able to subdue it and was forced to seek help from foreign forces.”

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