Far from being chastened by the events of September 11, radical environmentalist groups appear to have been inspired by the terrorists, stepping up their domestic terrorist activities in America.
The new wave of terrorist activity began on September 18, just a week after the events of September 11, when Tucson police were called to the scene of a Ronald McDonald House for seriously ill children. Upon reaching the charitable enterprise, police discovered the building had been vandalized and covered with “ELF” (Earth Liberation Front), “ALF” (Animal Liberation Front), swastikas, and anti-fast food graffiti.
Ronald McDonald House spokesperson Denisa Casement reports she now fears for the safety of families staying at Ronald McDonald Houses.
Soon after the Ronald McDonald House atrocity, eco-terrorists set fire to a maintenance building at a primate research facility in New Mexico, raided an Iowa mink farm twice within the span of a week, and firebombed a federal corral for wild horses in Nevada. The Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front have between them claimed responsibility for all of the terrorist attacks.
Yes, they’re terrorists
Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Beth Ann Steele noted the FBI defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce” the government or civilians.
Steele asserted the FBI terrorism definition fits eco-terrorists such as ELF and ALF to a tee, and that it is “pretty unbelievable” such groups would step up their own terror campaigns at a time when the country is fighting a war against terrorism from abroad.
“We believe that their methods of intimidation and violence have crossed the line into unacceptable for enforcement, and they’ve crossed the line for the majority of Americans,” stated Steele. “This is a horrible time in the nation’s history, and to be adding to that with your own brand of violence just goes beyond the pale. If you look at the general public, there is even less tolerance than there might have been before for terrorism of any kind.”
“Acting out of compassion”
David Barbarash, spokesperson for ELF and ALF, defended the groups’ domestic attacks by claiming the terrorists’ motives are pure. ELF and ALF, claimed Barbarash, “are acting out of compassion for all life, including human life.”
The alleged compassion for human life asserted by Barbarash is hardly evident on the ELF Web site. The site opens with a full-color photograph of one of its arson attacks with the large words “Every night is Earth night.”
The ELF Web site offers a how-to terrorist guide, “Setting Fires With Electrical Timers–An Earth Liberation Front Guide.” The guide preaches “The politics and practicalities of arson. Down-to-earth advice and how-to’s about devices, fuel requirements, timers, security and more.”
The Web site also offers a publication titled “If an Agent Knocks,” directing terrorists how to frustrate and evade FBI counter-terrorism agents.
Barbarash received political cover for his groups’ ongoing domestic terrorism from the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU opposed the USA Patriot Act anti-terrorist legislation in part because the legislation might deter domestic attacks from such groups as ELF. Protested the ACLU, “This over-broad terrorism definition would sweep in people who engage in acts of political protest if those acts were dangerous to human life. People associated with organizations such as Operation Rescue and the Environmental Liberation Front . . . have engaged in activities that could subject them to prosecution as terrorists.”
Added the ACLU, “The legislative response to terrorism should not turn ordinary citizens into terrorists.”