According to an online NBC news report the FBI considers ecoterrorism the most widespread and damaging form of domestic terrorism in the US. It has been carried out against forestry activities and against biotechnology (genetically modified plants) and for animal rights. Yesterday 11 ecoterrorists were charged:
“The indictment tells a story of four-and-a-half years of arson, vandalism, violence and destruction claimed to have been executed on behalf of the Animal Liberation Front or Earth Liberation Front, extremist movements known to support acts of domestic terrorism,” Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said at a news conference Friday.
“There is a clear difference between constitutionally protected advocacy … and violent criminal activity,” Mueller added.
“It is one thing to write concerned letters or to hold peaceful demonstrations,” Mueller said. “It is another thing entirely to construct and use improvised explosives to harass and intimidate victims by destroying property and to cause millions of dollars in losses by acts or threats of violence.”
… A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Eugene accused Paul, a firefighter, of setting firebombs that burned down a horse slaughterhouse in 1997. The ALF claimed responsibility for that fire, which caused an estimated $1 million in damage.
Savoie, who works in a group home for the developmentally disabled, is accused of serving as a lookout for a fire in 2001 that destroyed offices of a lumber mill. The ELF claimed responsibility for that fire.
Ecoterrorists have done more than $100 million in property damage over the past decade, officials told NBC News on Friday.
… Targets included U.S. Forest Service ranger stations, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wild horse facilities, lumber companies, meat processing companies, a ski area and the power line, the indictment said.
Interestingly the terrorists, the media and the Judge don’t appear to distinguish between terrorism for ‘the environment’ and terrorism for ‘animal rights’. To quote from a recent post at this blog: “Animal welfare, animal rights (including animal liberation) and conservation are three independent issues, which are often in conflict. Boundaries need to be placed on each to better understand their role in different context.”
What were the 11 really fighting for?