Skip to comments.Feds indict 11 for eco-sabotage in Oregon and the West
Posted on 01/20/2006 7:04:05 PM PST by crazyhorse691
Federal authorities in Oregon announced this morning they have charged 11 suspected eco-saboteurs with a series of arsons that began with firebombings at two ranger stations in the Willamette National Forest in 1996 and included the $12 million conflagration at a Vail, Colo., ski resort two years later.
A consipracy charge filed in U.S. District Court in Portland says that certain of the 11 suspects called themselves The Family as they planned and carried out arsons across the West.
The Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front, groups the FBI classifies as the nations leading domestic terrorist threat, claimed responsibility for many of the dozen fires that plagued Oregon.
Indicted were two luminaries of the radical environmental movement, including Jonathan Paul, an Applegate Valley resident who gave interviews to The Oregonian in 1999, and Darren Thurston, a convicted eco-saboteur from Canada.
Eight of the 11 suspects are already in custody after an unprecedented coast to coast roundup last month, the largest bust of accused eco-saboteurs in history. Three others remain at large and are believed to be abroad, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told a news conference in Washington, D.C.
Gonzales was joined at the news conference by FBI Director Robert Mueller and Carl Truscott, director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The message to any group contemplating such actions should be this we will be relentless in finding you and bringing you to justice, said Truscott.
The arsons began in October 1996, when the Earth Liberation Front torched a pickup at the Detroit ranger station in the Willamette National Forest and left a plastic jug rigged as an incendiary on the rooftop.
Spray-painted graffiti read, Leave the forests alone, and no one gets hurt.
A few days later, saboteurs left no such calling card when they torched the Oakridge ranger station on the other end of the national forest, southeast of Eugene, a loss calculated at up to $9 million.
The Colorado arson was the coup de main of the Earth Liberation Front. The conflagration stood for nearly five years as the most destructive act of eco-sabotage in U.S. history.
Multiple fires broke out early in Vail on the morning of Oct. 19, 1998, destroying ski lifts and an immense lodge under construction on the slopes of the resort. The Earth Liberation Front soon claimed responsibility for the blaze.
For your safety and convenience, the ELF wrote in a claim of responsibility, we strongly advise skiers to choose other destinations until Vail cancels its inexcusable plans for expansion.
Photos of the Vail arson, including the Two Elks lodge fully aflame, became an icon of the underground Earth Liberation Front, which used the image on its Web site.
The ELF and ALF have claimed responsiblity or otherwise been implicated in more than $100 million in damages in the past decade. The groups have sought to punish the enterprises they accused of harming the planet and its creatures for a profit.
Some of their most frequent targets have been logging operations, luxury homes under construction, SUV dealerships, biomedical labs and mink farms.
The Vail arson was dwarfed in the summer of 2003, when the ELF struck a massive apartment complex under construction in San Diego. The fire was one of many in California that season, which came to be known as the Summer of Fire.
A series of attacks followed in the months and years after the Vail arson, including massive fires at U.S. Forest Industries in Medford, Superior Lumber Co. in Glendale, Jefferson Poplar Farm near Clatskanie, and three in Eugene: Joe Romania Chevrolet, Childers Meat Co. and a Eugene police substation.
The recent arrests have not stopped eco-saboteurs.
Federal investigators said Thursday night that a fire that destroyed a mansion under construction at the north end of Camano Island, Wash. apparently was an act of ecoterrorism. A pink bedsheet draped over the gate leading to the 9,600-square-foot house overlooking Skagit Bay was spray-painted with a threatening message and bore the signature of someone claiming to be associated with the Earth Liberation Front, FBI agents said Thursday night.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimated the loss at about $2 million. There were no injuries.
A message left at the scene claiming responsibility appears to have been written by an environmental extremist group, but at this time we are not ruling out any motive for the arson, said Laura Laughlin, FBI special agent in charge.
The FBI, which investigates potential cases of ecoterrorism, has found banner bedsheets at other fires started by people claiming to be associated with the ELF, agent Roberta A. Burroughs said.
They have the story of their members being arrested on their home page !!!
I certainly hope you're correct about there being more arrests to come. I think the ones already in custody are in for a long stretch of free room and board.
Darren Thurston...such a "sweet" man...thank you AG Gonzalez.
Then how can they have a formal web page with this disclaimer? Who made the decision to write that? Who pays for it? I am so confused.
They are lucky that in the middle of a terrorist/Liberal atack the owner did not show up with a 12 gauge loaded with 31/2"Magnum shells and did everyone a 'Favor"
Saw the newsy conference on the tube, the LMSM went right to NSA and UBL, they were not concerned with domestic terr perps of their own ilk.
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I saw Gonzalez (AJ) and Moulder (FBI) on CSPAN making some statements...must have been about this.
"coup de main"
Nice $10.00 word there, I had to look it up!
Thanks for the ping. The Bay area channel 5 had a long and very fair balanced story on the eco thugs arrested in Sacramento and with tie ins to other groups. The local ABC station apparently had a good 5 minute section on this.
Andrew S Reigle
PO Box 1412
But check this out. Very interesting
On January, 2005 after being shut down for a period, an apparently fake website representing the ELF was registered to Andrew S Reigle at eMailmachine in California under the old domain. Current statements on the website indicate that there is no longer a spokesperson for the group. In addition to viagra ads and other questionable advertising on the website, there are now articles which discredit the organization itself. There are some suspicions that FBI shut down the original site and has created this one to lure and capture other would be eco-terrorists; however, it is currently unclear what has happened to the former spokespeople for the organization, and why the original website was shut down.
See link at #17 for link to indictment detail.
I love it when they get these jerks! I'd like it even better if we shoot a few in the comission of a crime. Maybe some of those who aren't as stupid, may consider that actions get reactions.
The local CBS tv station had an excellent report on these terrorists and some more in California last night. The link below will you to the link for the written story and the tv report can be seen by clicking its icon.