Skip to comments.US indicts 11 environmental, animal activists (AG Gonzales press conference transcript)
Posted on 01/20/2006 1:47:12 PM PST by Libloather
US indicts 11 environmental, animal activists
Fri Jan 20, 2006 03:05 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eleven environmental and animal rights activists have been indicted in a series of attacks in the U.S. West on targets that included the Vail Ski Resort in Colorado, the Justice Department said on Friday.
The defendants, based in Portland, Oregon, and acting on behalf of the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front, were named in a 65-count indictment that included charges of arson and destruction of an energy facility, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said at a news conference.
A Justice Department official said property damage from the incidents reached $100 million.
The indictment cited 17 incidents in Oregon, Washington state, Wyoming, Colorado and California. They included arsons or attempted arsons at U.S. Forest Service ranger stations, animal holding facilities, lumber companies and timber farms, the Vail Ski Resort and the Eugene, Oregon, police department.
"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 and the Earth Liberation Front -- extremist movements known to support acts of domestic terrorism," Gonzales said.
Eight of the defendants -- who refer to themselves as "the family" and have such aliases as "Country Girl," "India" and "Dog" -- were arrested before Thursday's indictment was returned by a federal grand jury in Eugene, Oregon. Three others are believed to be outside the United States.
To: National Desk
Contact: U.S. Department of Justice, 202-514-2007 or 202-514-1888 (TDD); Web: http://WWW.USDOJ.GOV
WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a transcript of the press conference with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and AFT Director Carl Truscott regarding today's domestic terrorism indictment:
MR. GONZALES: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I am joined by FBI Director Robert Mueller, ATF Director Carl Truscott, and Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher from the Criminal Division.
Yesterday, a grand jury in the District of Oregon returned an indictment charging 11 members of a Portland-based cell of animal rights and environmental extremists for their roles in a pattern of domestic terrorism activities.
The 65-count indictment includes numerous charges of arson, attempted arson, conspiracy to commit arson, use and possession of a destructive device, and destruction of an energy facility.
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.
Specifically, the indictment alleges that a group of defendants who referred to themselves as "the family" worked together with extensive planning to influence the conduct of government and private businesses through the use of coordinated force, violence, sabotage, intimidation, and coercion.
On a number of occasions, they constructed incendiary devices made from milk jugs or plastic buckets, petroleum products, and delayed timers and then used them to destroy buildings, vehicles, and other targets chosen to harm the government, disrupt the public, and strike at the economic well-being of state governments and private businesses.
This cell was responsible for more than 15 incidents across five states, a well-coordinated series of violent attacks that included arsons or attempted arsons at U.S. Forest Service Ranger Stations, animal holding facilities, lumber companies and timber farms, the Vail Ski Resort, and the Eugene, Oregon Police Department. In addition, three of the defendants are charged with destruction of a high tension tower at the Bonneville Power Administration in Bend, Oregon.
In many cases, the group publicized the incidents with graffiti, press releases, and communiques attributing the actions and the stated reasons for those actions to the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front terrorist movements.
In all, their trail of destruction across the Pacific Northwest and beyond resulted in millions of dollars of property damage. Today's indictment is a significant step in bringing these terrorists to justice.
Six of the defendants were arrested more than a month ago and are currently being detained, including one Canadian citizen that ICE found in possession of a forged Green Card and Social Security Card. Two more were arrested this week on criminal complaints charging them with arsons mentioned in this indictment and three others are believed to be outside the country. We're working hard with a number of partners to find these individuals and bring them to justice here in the United States.
As this and all criminal indictments are not evidence of guilt, the defendants named in this indictment are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The investigation, arrests, and indictments in this case are the result of widespread cooperation and coordination throughout the law enforcement community. I'd like to thank the U.S. Attorney's office in Oregon and the many prosecutors and investigators from a host of law enforcement agencies at every level for their work on this case and their continued determination to help protect Americans from the threat of terrorism, both foreign and domestic.
I'd like to now invite Bob Mueller to the podium and he will be followed by Carl Truscott and then we'll be happy to take any questions you may have.
MR. MUELLER: Good afternoon, everyone. Today's indictment marks the culmination of an intensive investigation by the FBI, as well as our partners, including ATF, an investigation focused on a group of individuals who have committed numerous, violent acts in the name of animal rights and environmental causes.
But terrorism is terrorism, no matter what the motive. The FBI is committed to protecting Americans from crime and terrorism, including acts of domestic terrorism in the name of animal rights for the environment.
And there is a clear difference, a clear difference between Constitutionally protected advocacy, which is the right of all Americans, and violent, criminal activity. It is one thing to write concerned letters or to hold peaceful demonstrations. It is another thing entirely to construct and use improvised explosives or incendiary devices to harass and intimidate victims by destroying property and to cause millions of dollars in losses by acts or threats of violence.
The FBI becomes involved, as it did in this case, only when volatile talk crosses the line into violence and criminal activity. Today's indictment marks significant progress in our efforts to combat animal rights extremism and eco-terrorism.
And thanks to the outstanding cooperation and strong partnerships we've had both at the federal level, as well as the state and local level, we have taken the first steps towards bringing this cell to justice. And we in the FBI will continue to work with our partners to investigate and bring to justice extremist movements whose criminal acts threaten the American economy and American lives.
Now, let me turn it over to Carl.
MR. TRUSCOTT: Thank you very much, Director Mueller. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. The indictments announced today represent the culmination of almost 10 years of persistent work on behalf of ATF and our federal, state, and local partners. These crimes were committed by extremists using arson and incendiary devices to cause tremendous destruction and to endanger people's lives.
As the federal agency that investigates crimes involving arson and explosives, ATF conducted the investigation surrounding the origin and the cause of the various fires. We are pleased to have contributed to ATF's unique expertise of our certified fire investigators, our forensic laboratory analysts, our explosive enforcement officers, and our accelerant detection canines to these complex arson investigations.
ATF's laboratory in Walnut Creek, California was instrumental in processing and linking evidence from the crime scenes. These 17 separate criminal incidents occurred in five states, causing millions of dollars of damage. ATF and our partners aggressively pursued these cases and linked them together to bring these indictments announced today.
ATF will continue to work with the Department of Justice. We will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney's Offices for a successful prosecution. The indictments announced today clearly demonstrate what tenacious law enforcement can achieve when we work together, when we bring our varied expertise to the table, and when we effectively share information and when we effectively share intelligence.
Arson is an extremely complex and difficult crime to solve, but the message to any person or group that seeks to further its cause through crimes of violence is this. We will be relentless in finding you and bringing you to justice.
They are trying to sully your good name...
To quote from the heavenly movie, Office Space,
"Remember, kick someone's ass the first day. OR, become someone's bitch."
"Watch out for the cornhole, buddy."
This is the kind of news I like to hear. I'd like it even better if the perps were jailed for a time, issued permanent ankle bracelets, and had half of every dollar they earn for the rest of their lives garnished to pay the owners of the damaged/destroyed property.
Sounds like the FBI has done some computer tracking.
"And there is a clear difference, a clear difference between Constitutionally protected advocacy, which is the right of all Americans, and violent, criminal activity. It is one thing to write concerned letters or to hold peaceful demonstrations. It is another thing entirely to construct and use improvised explosives or incendiary devices to harass and intimidate victims by destroying property and to cause millions of dollars in losses by acts or threats of violence."
Considering Rooters can't bring themselves to call al Qaeda "terrorists", we never really had a hope in hell here, did we?
I suppose we should be grateful they reported the story at all.
I predict less criminal attacks by these whack-jobs over the next year, and more arrests and indictments. Their cover has obviously been blown, and they are in trouble.
Their cover has obviously been blown, and they are in trouble.
Most likely. These are liberal lightweights -- they will squeal like the little piglets that they are and the AG should have a train-load of warrants shortly...
It is really refreshing when you see your government do something RESPECTABLE once in a while....
Be interesting to see if anything comes about from the money trail leading to the People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Be interesting to see if anything comes about from the money trail leading to the People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
"We get caught laundering money, we are NOT going to white collar resort prison, no, no, no, We are going to FEDERAL pound me in the ass prison!"
The Justice Department says that the ecoterrorists are the number 1 domestic terror threat, even though they've never actually like, you know, killed anybody.
We've got other domestic terrorists that have body counts in the hundreds. Are we supposed to look the other way on right-wing terror groups simply because we're Conservatives?
I see one of the Oklahoma City terrorists is getting out of prison. I guess that's the answer. It's OK to kill as long as the killers agree with us. Got it.
Alberto Gonzalez should be an embarassment to all of us.
I don't consider people who support Soviet-style centralized control as Conservatives. I really expected an improvement over Janet Reno, but he's just another disappointment.
And Osama Bin Laden is still taunting us.
Is bombing a Federal Building or an abortion clinic Constitutionally protected advocacy?
Some of the pals of these scum operate down here in SF and surrounding communities. I hope we hear of additional arrests down here soon.
Of course not.
These folks are cut from the same cloth as the democratic operatives who slashed tires in Milwaukee: If you can't win in the political ring, throw a tantrum, vandalize, run away & hide. Babies.
What on earth are you talking about? Gonzales had nothing to do with the Oklahoma City Bombing trial.
The feds made a deal with the scum in order to convict McVeigh...I hate it.. but it happens every day in trials.
Quote:"I don't consider people who support Soviet-style centralized control as Conservatives."
These people are 12 Monkeys nutballs.
Who is us paleface; you got a mouse in your pocket. You supported the Oklahoma City terrorists?
Alberto Gonzalez should be an embarrassment to all of us.
As I recall, that case was prosecuted by the Clinton Administration and Alberto Gonzales had nothing to do with it.
Since Nov 18, 2005
The perps of the OKC bombing were found, duly prosecuted and even put to death.
Go pout to the FBI since they are the ones that 'covered up' the OU bombing (or didn't you hear).
As for OBL, WTH does that have to do with this thread?
He's dead Jim, get over it. Even if he is alive, wouldn't it be best to keep it that way so we could track communiques and plans?
Sullying true country girls all around this country as well.
I'd like to see a list of hippie aliases compared with good-ol' boy nicknames. You know like 'Bubba' vs. 'Moonchild', etc. :-)
Your post is absolutely fine! Don't you listen to those nay-sayers!
President Bush and AG Gonzales: Way to Go!
You're either a troll or you just outed yourself.
He's probably a kosplayer (a troll from Daily Kos). :)