Bumped to the top with new information on arsonists, first posted on 10-24 at 1113hrs
Food for thought:
The FBI alerted law enforcement agencies last month that an al-Qaeda
terrorist now in detention had talked of masterminding a plot to set a series of
devastating forest fires around the western United
Ã¢â‚¬Â¦The Republic reported that the detainee, who was not identified, said the
plan involved three or four people setting wildfires using timed devices in
Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming that would detonate in forests and
grasslands after the operatives had left the country.
And now arson is suspected in many of the fires.
“I’m sad to report this is an arson fire,” OCFA Chief Chip Prather
announced at an early morning briefing. “There were three separate
starts: two on one side of the road and one on the other, and obviously
we are actively investigating that.”
Now many of these fires could be set by pyros, but you cannot discount the fact that AQ has talked about this kind of attack in the past and the “coincidence” of these fires being set and bin-Laden’s new message.
State and FBI authorities announced a raid at an Orange County house Wednesday in connection with one of the fires.
From FR, trying to confirm:
FBI on scene of Santiago Fire. It was arson set in three places. (per CNN)
Arson suspect killed, another arrested
Amid worries of new blazes adding to the firestorm already afflicting
the region, a man in Hesperia has been arrested on suspicion of arson,
and police reported shooting and killing another arson suspect after
chasing him out of scrub behind Cal State San Bernardino.
Law enforcement officials said today that they didn’t know whether
either of the men had started any of the more than a dozen large fires
that have devastated Southern California in recent days, including the
nearby Lake Arrowhead blaze. The brush fire in Hesperia was quickly
extinguished by residents.~~~
The confrontation that ended in the shooting death started about 6 p.m.
Tuesday when San Bernardino university police spotted a man in a rural
area of flood channels and scrub near the campus. University police
tried to detain the man, but he got into his car and fled, authorities
said. When he began to ram officers’ vehicle, they shot him.
The suspect is described as a 27-year-old man with a home address in
Arizona. Sheriff’s investigators will search his impounded pickup truck
pending a search warrant, Lt. Scott Patterson of the San Bernardino
Police Department said this afternoon.
No additional information, including his identity will be released until Thursday.
“We don’t know whether he was an arsonist,” Patterson said. “What was
related by the Cal State police was that they tried to contact him as a
suspicious person in a brush area. Things being how they are, there was
a suspicion that he could be an arsonist.”
Plus this is related to arson or AQ involvement but this Google Earth map of the fires is quite interesting. You need to Google Earth to view it.
UPDATE IV 10-25-07
The arsonist who was killed has been identified:
An Arizonan shot and killed by police in Southern California after
they chased him because they thought he was a possible arsonist has
The San Bernardino County coroner said the man was 27-year-old
Russell Lane Daves of Topock, a small town along the Arizona-California
border in Mohave County.
Daves was shot Tuesday night following a chase that ended when he
backed his car into a police cruiser and an officer opened fire.
The chase started after campus police at Cal State University found
Daves inside a pickup in a brushy area near campus. The officers wanted
to make sure he wasn’t trying to start a fire but when they approached,
he drove off.
Daves was arrested in Mohave County last month on a misdemeanor
charge of domestic violence in a case that involved his 2-year-old son.
The case was later dismissed.
And then look at this disgusting story:
A 44-year-old man dressed in full fire gear was arrested Wednesday
afternoon after deputies found him in an evacuated area of Fallbrook.
William Brock was laying a fully-charged hose attached to a hydrant
across Live Oak Park Road near Gumtree Lane around 4 p.m. in an area
where fires were still smouldering, sheriff’s officials said. There
were no other firefighters in the area.
Brock told deputies that he was a firefighter who had been sent to
help extinguish hot spots and that he was allowed to pass through the
check points .
According to the Sheriff’s Department, he was driving a pickup truck
with a personalized firefighter plate loaded with fire hoses and other
fire gear. He was wearing a blue shirt that had the word “firefighter”
on it. In his truck, officials found a blue shirt with a Morongo Valley
Fire Department patch on it, a firefighter badge and a name tag with
his name on it.
Deputies checked and found that Brock did not work for the Morongo
Valley Fire Department or any other. They also found that he is on
probation in Los Angeles County for narcotics violations.
Brock was taken into custody. He will face charges of impersonating
a firefighter, entering a closed area and obstructing officers in the
performance of their duties, sheriff’s officials said.
Some disturbed people out there.
Some more arsonists arrested:
Two more people have been booked for investigation of arson in Southern California.
Authorities say an adult and a juvenile were arrested after they started a small brush fire Tuesday night in the San Diego suburb of Vista.
The fire burned about 200 square feet before firefighters put it out.
The adult was identified as Gorgonio Nava. The other was not identified because he is a juvenile.
At least four people have been arrested for investigation of arson since the wildfires broke out over the weekend. None of the suspects has been connected to any of the major blazes.
Earlier in Los Angeles, outraged West Hills residents saw a
41-year-old man set a fire and chased him to a restaurant where they
held him until cops arrived.
Catalino Pineda, a Guatemalan
immigrant on probation for making excessive false emergency reports to
law enforcement, was arrested and charged with arson, police said.