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News Brief - March 2001:

Earth Liberation Front is now FBI’s No. 1 Domestic Terrorist Threat-
Mainstream media finally pick up on the concern of ecoterrorism

The FBI has put Earth Liberation Front at the top of the list of domestic terrorism threats, above all of the sources of terrorism so well known to the public, Director Louis Freeh told Congress in February. The FBI’s announced priority and the $40 million in damage for which the Earth Liberation Front claims responsibility haven’t erased the mystique that environmental terrorists have with some remaining sectors of the mainstream media, but news coverage is slowly moving ecoterrorism to a level of grave national concern. The question is whether the general public will lose its “inclination to dismiss the group as misguided idealists,” a phrase used by The Wall Street Journals editorial on February 14.

During March, the New York Post called the Earth Liberation Front “the new and nasty face of environmentalism,” while sneering at ELF’s claim of being “non-violent.” At the same time, the Post columnist, Stefan C. Friedman, seemed to raise another question about ELF, referring to its “ostensibly” green agenda.

On January 1, ELF caused $400,000 in damage when it burned down the headquarters of the Superior Lumber Company in Glendale, Oregon. Afterwards, the terrorists proclaimed on the ELF web site, “This year, 2001, we hope to see an escalation in tactics against capitalism and industry.”

ELF’s pronouncements of an agenda combining anti-capitalism and environmental extremism are nothing new, considering the socialist face of environmentalism.

ELF’s violence finally got mainstream media attention when it burned a ski resort under construction in Vail, Colorado in 1998, causing $12 million in damage.

On December 31, ELF claimed responsibility for burning down four new luxury homes at Mount Sinai, Long Island, New York. Ten days earlier, ELF boasted that in burning a house under construction in exclusive Miller Place, Long Island, ELF had accomplished its ninth major strike on Long Island in recent months.

However, Mount Sinai arsonist Jared McIntyre was apprehended and on January 9 pleaded guilty to arson. Hopes are that his apprehension will solve the many acts of terrorism on Long Island, including trampling a research cornfield, destroying construction equipment and burning many houses that were under construction.

The informally organized organization brags about its terrorism with a log of destruction on the Earth Liberation Front web page, and works with the radical Animal Liberation Front.

The web page editor for the “North American Earth Liberation Front,” Craig Rosebraugh of Portland, Oregon, solicits donations for “legal fees” and “printing and shipping costs of information” and provides encryption assistance to receive and distribute “anonymous communiques from the underground Earth Liberation Front.”

The media are sharply divided about the level of criminality of the ELF terrorists. The Phoenix New Times carried an article, “Burn, Baby Burn,” this year that quoted environmentalists who were sympathetic for someone burning down houses that were under construction in open country outside Phoenix. Shortly later, the same Phoenix paper carried an “exclusive interview with an unidentified man claiming to be the leader of an Arizona arson ring that has torched nearly a dozen unoccupied houses,” according to an opinion article by James Taranto in The Wall Street Journal on February 7. The Journal concluded, “...journalists who disregard normal moral sense in pursuit of a story give our profession a bad name.”

For Further Information:

Web sites:

www.earthliberationfront.com
(“Up to date uncensored news on the Earth Liberation Front and animal rights movement around the world”)

www.environweb.org/ALFIS/indexw.html
(“Up to date uncensored news on the Animal Liberation Front and animal rights movement from around the world”)

www.animalliberation.net
(“Up to date uncensored news on the Animal Liberation Front and animal rights movement from around the world”)

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