Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What is being done to counter eco-terrorism?

Eco-terrorism has not yet been an activity that has been as wildly pursued as other criminal activities in United States. A certain number of eco-terrorists have been arrested and brought before grand juries, but suprsingly, very few of them have actually been punished. The House Resources Subcommittee did in fact hold a hearing on eco-terrorism, but unfortuantely nothing on the topic was further pursued. This was in part due to the fact that a prominent Earth Liberation spoksesperson was called upon to answer questions at this hearing, but he refused to answer the questions that he was asked by the committee. A recent article has stated many significant ways to curb eco-terrorism. A significant idea that came out of the article was that the press plays an important role in the furthering of the actions of eco-terrorists. Since the media cover the actions of the eco-terrorists, such as the example where an autodealership had been torched by eco-terrorists, and in the press interview a city councilman was stated as saying that there was a "need" to improve fuel efficiency in vehicles but that vandalism was not the forum in which to resolve it; when in fact, the media coverage and interview alone promoted the ideas of the eco-terrorists since the statement about the "need" to alter vehicles was aired. Attention and coverage from the press is a powerful medium through which eco-terrorists are able to promote their agendas.

the article may be found at:

Eco-terrorist activity to be aware of

Eco-terrorists are on the most part composed of individuals that join independent groups that are primarily self funded and self motivated towards eco-terrorist activities. Many of the activities of these groups include, vandalism, arson, bombing, harassment, and animal release. Targets of these eco-terrorists often include fast food restaurants, car dealerships, housing developments, and perhaps even most alarming, people who are employed by companies that these groups deem dangerous to the environment are also targeted. Nature is so vital to these extremist individuals, even to the point where they consider the destruction of property to be justified and human life to be indespensible if it means that the environment will be preserved. In March of 2001, the FBI classified the most infamous eco-terrorist organization, the Earth Liberation Front, to be the number one domestic terrorist group in the United States.

Examples of eco-terrorism

1998- In the city of Vail, Colorado, the Earth Liberation Front vandalized a ski resort by burning down part of it and thus causing 12 million dollars in property damage. The eco-terrorist attempted to justify their actions by saying that they were acting on behalf of the wildlife they thought were being infringed upon.

2005- In the city of Phoenix, Arizona, nine new housing structures were firebombed by eco-terrorists citing that these structures were built on "natural desert."

2005- In the city of Kenmore, Washington, eco-terrorist burned two pieces of excavation equipment at a housing development which resulted in 180,000 dollars in damage and this act was the second at that particular site with an earlier fire causing 50,000 dollars in damage.

2005- In the city of Valley Springs, California, a partially constructed home was vandalized with a window broken in and the letters "ELF" scrawled on the garage door. It is suspected that this act was spurred as a result of re-zoning in Calaveras County, California.

2006- In Camano Island, Washington, The Earth Liberation Front burned down a 9,600 square foot 3 million dollar home that was nearly completely constructed with a threatening message spray painted on a bedsheet that was posted on the front gate of the home.

What are the apparant goals of the eco-terrorists?

The Earth Liberation Front seems to feel that the industrial and western way of life in the United States is profiting at the expense of the environment. This eco-terrorist group has said that they would like, "to inflict economic damage on those profiting from the destruction and exploitation of the natural environment" and eventually " to speed up the collapse of industry."