Gatlinburg Fire Update: Internet Speculates About ISIS & Terrorism

Gatlinburg fire, Dollywood fire

This photo shows the fires fast approaching Dollywood, which is only about 9.5 miles away from Gatlinburg. (Facebook/acesoutheast)

On social media, some people are wondering: Is it possible that terrorists or ISIS are behind the raging fires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee?

Is there any evidence for this?

There is no evidence at all that terrorists or ISIS are behind the Gatlinburg fire, and authorities have not said as much. No terrorist organizations have claimed any responsibility, either.

However, there is evidence that Islamic terrorists and Jihadists may have turned to or advocated for arson fire as a general method of terror. The hashtags #FireJihad and #ForestJihad are starting to take off on Twitter. In Israel, a series of fires in recent days is considered possible terrorism.

Gatlinburg fire, Gatlinburg Tennessee, Gatlinburg fire photos

The above photo shows ruins inside Gatlinburg. Over 2,000 people were taken to emergency shelters and 14,000 residents have been displaced. The News Sentinel reports that over 150 homes and businesses are damaged. (Twitter/Everything TN)

Authorities have said very little about the Sevier County fire’s cause thus far. They have simply said that its origins are human-caused. That comment was attributed to National Park Service spokeswoman Dana Soehn, who did not provide further details, said KTLA, adding that the cause is under investigation.

However, that could mean that the fire was caused accidentally by human negligence versus a purposeful arson fire. The blaze has killed three people, destroyed resorts, homes, and businesses, and led to general devastation as it rips through the tourist gateway to the Smoke Mountains.

Sadly, arson fires are not that unusual in Tennessee (and they are not foreign terrorist related). In fact, one local television station took great pains to inform people on the internet that a story about two arson suspects in Tennessee had been published before the Gatlinburg blaze.

What evidence is there that terrorists or ISIS have turned to fire as their latest weapon? For one, what is going on in Israel.

israel fires

Cypriot firefighters help extinguish a fire near the northern Israeli city of Hadera, on November 27, 2016, following a wildfire. Firefighters have extinguished blazes that ravaged Israel and the occupied West Bank for five days and forced tens of thousands to flee, authorities said, blaming arsonists for some outbreaks.(Getty)

On November 26, Israeli police detained 23 people “on suspicion of arson in connection with wildfires that swept across central and northern Israel this week,” CNN reported, saying that Israel was battling 250 different fires in just a few days and had battled over 1,500 fires. CNN said people on social media were connecting those “fires to current proposed Israeli legislation that could ban loudspeakers broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer.”

Haaretz put the number of Israeli fires at more than 1,700 but said that police were denying reports from national tax authorities that they had determined the fires were caused by terrorism. The Daily Caller said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the fires, “a crime for all intents and purposes and in our opinion it is terror for all intents and purposes.” Some people who oppose Israel were celebrating the Israeli fires on Twitter.

Although authorities have said nothing about a link, some on Twitter are making it.

Such concerns have existed for several years. In 2013, a Forbes Magazine contributor wrote, “There are valid reasons to link numerous deadly wildfires in Europe and the American West to actions of international arsonists.”

In 2012, ABC News reported that an Al-Qaeda magazine was “offering detailed advice on how to start huge forest fires in America with timed explosives and how to build remote-controlled bombs.”

The magazine called for the creation of so-called “ember bombs,” providing “detailed instructions on how to ignite an ’ember bomb’ in a U.S. forest, recommending Montana because of the rapid population growth in wooded areas.”

However, recent arson wildfire attacks have been from homegrown actors who aren’t tied to foreign terrorism. For example, two local men were accused of setting arson fires in Tennessee in mid-November.

Fox 17 Nashville reported: “Year to date, there has been 1,238 wildfires in Tennessee, with 50 percent of them suspected arson.”

Learn more about the possible causes of the Gatlinburg fire here:

See photos of people described as missing on November 29:

34 Comments

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34 Comments

nice try, racist

100% of the suspects so far are inbred white redneck boys with three teeth and a cousin for a wife, but thanks for showing your true ignorant, bigoted colors.

Reply
KT Baker

I’m from the area. It was a campfire. If by liberal you mean educated, informed, and with a conscience, then guilty.

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Anonymous

Nothing educated, informed, or caring about any liberal, and certainly not a liberal from the great conservative state of Tennessee. Lie some more like a typical liberal imposter.

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Pastor Michelle Levine

As a pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland we worship and praise Donald Trump because along with God above, Trump is our good personal charismatic God and Prophet here in America. The world needs to come and worship and praise Donald Trump along with the one above because they two are good personal Gods and Prophets. Call our church at 301-869-1780 for details on how to make the world commit to the good Holy Gospels of Trump and Christ above. Thank you for your service if you will do so for us!

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Kelly

I don’t care where you’re from. You probably don’t own a damn thing up there, I do so does many of our friends and people have died not to mention poor defenseless animals. We do not mean educated, informed and with a conscience because liberals don’t possess any of those attributes! So shut your uneducated trap!

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Kelly

If you don’t have property or people that’s lost their lives shut you d mouth! I do and frankly am tired people like you! I do own property there and there has been several deaths due to this arson. So put your liberalism aside and shut the h up! Do you understand that you and people like like you are of not significant any longer! How about that? We are taking our country back if you don’t let i.e. it get the hell out!

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Kelly

They don’t have any civility and so this is what these people understand henderly. I’m tired of their crap and having to be subjected to listening to them it’s their turn to be miserable for 8 years or more! If you expect civility from me then you better show me some first! I’ve been civil for years and I’m tired of it and political correctness which by the the way in their way of thinking on works in their favor, so I’m thru being civil! They act like savages so can I I’m afraid they are going to start seeing a lot more people like me I’m tired of being pushed around and I’m not taking it anymore!

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Shut up Twerp Butt Hill Billy

Hey Kelly,

Just cuz your hill billy ass had a cabin up there doesn’t make your OPINION, and that’s what it is, an OPINION any more valid than anyone else’s. It’s called free speech so don’t bother flappin yer gums too much. Sorry you hill billies don’t have any teeth. Just to show good spirits I modified a song for you. I’m sure you know the hymn very well

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
Married his sista who had a beard at three
Raised in the woods so he fornicated a tree
Drank a lot of moonshine cuz up there it’s free
Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier!

Davy was probably one of yer ancestors huh? I think ya’ll call them kinfolk. Tarnation! LOL LOL

…..burned down my cabin so I’ll go live in a treeeeeeeeeeee…………Davy…………Davy Crockett………….Yippee

You just got Fraw-sted

Reply
Kelly

Your a stupid illerate Moran, me guess is you don’t own anything probably kept up by the taxpayers and you liberal idiots are the ones out burning, looting shooting police officers so your opinion or criticism doesn’t carry any weight or respect from me or others. My ancestors were German so I am not hillbilly but if I was I would consider it a compliment coming from someone like you! Are you intelligent enough to understand how you sound? You are a foll and much worse but I can’t talk like that online! You can stick your good spirits up your a**! My opinion matters as much as yours I work, pay taxes and earn what I have including my home, not a cabin which is more than you have. Liberals are stupid and sore losers, so get over it I hope you and others like you get to enjoy 8 years of Donald Trump, you might actually have to get a JOB, imagine that. I have a song for you” you’re inbred one eyebrow across your head when kinfolks wed you’re in red, how about that one you low life piece of shi* I thought I better spell it out for you! It’s probably one of you’re relatives or you that set the fire at the chimneys that was the source of this tragedy. It makes me sad to see these people that have lost their lives and people like you are still walking on the face of this earth. Of course good people are the ones that usually die and people like you are left to roam the earth!!!!!

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Shut up Twerp Butt Hill Billy

Yeah, yeah, blah blah woof woof. You should be ironing a man’s clothes or making him a sandwich or something instead of playing on your Mom’s (aka sister’s) computer lol lol….oh wait your ironing board burnt down huh?

Davy…………Davy Crockett………….Yippee……….King of the Wild Frontier……

Reply
Pastor Michelle Levine

The sad thing is that many of the elderly soon committed suicide by hanging themselves in shower stalls and overdosing due to their valuables being destroyed. This lead to more crime on the streets, as police say. America has gone to hell in a handbasket. This is the ARMAGEDDON, GREAT TRIBULATION AND WORLD WAR THREE!

Reply
Chad

Who gave you the inside information, or are you just making baseless accusations and name calling?
If it’s the latter, then you are the ignorant and likely inbred one.

Reply
Sam

So are you going to welcome a Muslim immigrant family into your home? If not, you’re a bigot.

Reply
Kelly

That’s exactly what you are doing when we let people in our country! How hard is that to understand?

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Pastor Michelle Levine

Everywhere in the world you will have to be looking over your shoulder when you go out due to the changing society. Several people on parole and probation in homeless shelters that have nothing to lose and been in and out of prison since they were teenagers and are in their 60s are helping ISIS with their crimes and terrorisms and are using the elderly suicides to commit crime on the streets and are attacking law enforcement after committing crimes in the schools and shopping centers. Read the reports on CNN and USAToday News because the Bible predicts the events with the 7 seals in the Book of Revelation. Learn to correlate the anchient prophecies with modern times because this is confirmed proof!

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Peace to you

You wish to get followers through your ignorant comments. So the guys charged with arson are related to isis?and you wih everyone going to your church have some cash $$ to give you so you can earn some non taxed salary. You are a pastor with a jewish last name, worship the President as a God. Very smart to get people, false prophet woman, hahaha

Reply
Pastor Michelle Levine

As an assistant pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland I want say that we need to pray that Donald Trump does a good job as president since we have to deal with immigrants that come here to hang out and the police want Trump to be president too and so do we, now since I realized that Trump is a good charismatic. For comments on details, call us at 301-869-1780. We want to thank you for your service!

Reply
Peace to you

You pastir levine, you are stating immigrants come here to hang out and that is dangerous. Who are you to say that? Your last name is jewish, is not even american!!! You praise the President in the same level of Jesus God???and posting your church number to get money from callers?? What a church !! Is funny and ridiculously ignorant. Get an education and lear to make money through a valuable career instead of deceiving lies and poor argumentative comments

Reply
Kelly

No you wouldn’t he’s a sypathizer he’s been around the world apologizing for our nation. We don’t owe then anything not even an apology!

Reply
Blake Benneyt

If you honestly think that this was and act of terrorism and ISIS would actually take the time to single out a mountain town in Tennessee to make a statement, you sir (or ma’am) are more of an idiot than the arsonist.

Reply
Kelly

Look Blake they are opportunist and gatlinburg was full of people it was thanksgiving weekend, you putz! They look for soft targets and it was reported a while back that the terrorist is calling on their supports to kill people even if its one person at a time. You sir are the idiot and one hat apparently does listen or read, this information is well known! Where are you from? Do you love vet under a rock if so crawl back under it!

Reply
Anderson

This mountain town is home to the third most popular mountain ranges in the world and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country

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Pastor Michelle Levine

Judging by the content of the incident, this has to be foul play. Like the Oakland, California incident, there are people living in homeless shelters that are going into some schools and making phonecalls to ISIS terrorists overseas to ask them to come here to commit mass mayhem and when they see it on the news, they get a kick out of it. These people soon want to add to the mayhem because understand that one man came into our church and tried to take money out of the offering plate on one Friday evening when the staff were getting ready to go home and one of my maintenance ladies got stabbed with a knife and two of our other ladies that teach classes to our children ran out to grab the guy before he got into his car and wrestled him to the ground while one of our secretaries called police. The guy’s car got towed after he got arrested and put in jail. It is sad that we had to experience this hell and have to prosecute but we live in a world of gloom and doom. Everywhere, you have to safeguard your quarters these days. Nowhere is safe, according to a news article from CNN News that my spouse picked up at a motel in Silver Spring, Maryland. We read the articles and prayed for guidance in this trend in America.

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Anonymous

Is this written by the same Jessica Mcbride that had an ongoing affair with a married police chief a few years back. Please O Please hit me with more of your infinite wisdom.

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Shut up Twerp Butt Hill Billy

I always look on the bright side of tragedies like this. It wasn’t my home that burned down. It was Kelly’s!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL LOL

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Shut up Twerp Butt Hill Billy

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
Married his sista who had a beard at three
Had a big and shoot it Golly
Didn’t own a still, had no time for that folly………..

Davy…………Davy Crockett……….King of the Wild Frontier……

Reply
Jeannine Blalock Horton

Well thus far all the arrests made certainly don’t indicate ISIS, but perhaps maybe a group of white male domestic terrorists perhaps! Since most all of the arrested are white males are you saying they are recruits of ISIS? Y’all spread so much BS it is no wonder the USA is hated by so many around the globe and we have so much division here in the country!

Reply
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