Tags: Ecoterrorists | Probed | the | Hill

Ecoterrorists Probed on the Hill

Monday, 25 April 2005 12:00 AM

You may think that this is the United States of America and that you are allowed to make these choices for yourself. Busybodies we have always had with us. But these busybodies believe in settling the argument with threats and violence.

Next month (exact date to be determined), Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, expects to hear from victims of these extremists and from the victims' families as they testify before his Committee on Environment and Public Works.

He also plans to call law enforcement officials as witnesses. This is most fitting since, as the Senate committee observes, the FBI has labeled ELF "the greatest domestic terrorist threat, reporting that since 1996, these terrorists have committed more than 1100 acts of terrorism, causing more than $110 million in damages."

ELF, according to Inhofe's committee, "is closely affiliated with [ALF] and the two are known for using ‘direct action' to make their political statement. Direct action usually occurs in the form of criminal activity designed to cause economic loss or destroy the victims' company operations or property."

ELF and ALF use firebombs, timed detonations devices and incendiary devices, Molotov cocktails, poison and "their weapon of choice, arson" in their supposed fight for the environment and animal rights.

Their targets have included biomedical research labs, new construction, SUVs, genetically engineered crops, fast food restaurants and timber companies – to name a few.

The activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has tried to distance itself from the more violent doings of ALF, but the Senate committee's release flatly says, "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are known supporters of ELF and ALF."

The committee mentions that University of Texas Professor Dr. Steven Best is an advocate for the terrorist groups and has used the university's Web site to direct people to ELF/ALF Web sites to spread their messages.

Dr. Best has written a book, "Terrorist or Freedom Fighters? Reflections on the Liberation of Animals." The forward to that book was written by Ward Churchill, the Colorado professor who called 9/11 victims "little Eichmanns," a reference to the infamous Nazi exterminator.

In his forward, Churchill "not only supports ELF/ALF, but argues it does not go far enough," says the committee. What else would one expect from someone who calls terrorist victims Nazis?

Here are samples of the violence wreaked by the domestic terrorism the senators will investigate.

Senator Inhofe learned that ELF and ALF were able to collect contributions over the Internet through eBay and PayPal. He tells me that when those two reputable firms last month realized what ELF and ALF were up to, they "ceased all transactions" with them. It was clear that ELF and ALF had violated their contracts, which stipulated they were not to use the services to advance illegal activity.

The senator was able to put a stop to similar situation where ELF and ALF paraphernalia was being sold through Amazon.com. The committee emphasizes that eBay, PayPal and Amazon are in no way to be blamed for this. When they found out what was going on, all three companies immediately cut off all dealings with the violence-prone groups.

Ironically, just as I'm writing this, there is a report on NewsMax's Inside Cover that eight to ten people entered a bookstore April 22 during the Sean Hannity Show on New York's Long Island during a book signing for former Senator Zell Miller. One of the group identified himself as an ELF member and said he was out on bail on charges of cyberterrorism.

The man was not belligerent, but police were called just in case of trouble. The group was wearing bulky black clothing. The weather at the time was typical of a balmy spring day.

Senator Inhofe is convinced that once an understanding of how these terrorist groups operate and are supported, more can be done to stop them. He says the committee "intends to expose the extremist environmental movement and its destructive tactics, including not only those actors guilty of such crimes of terror, but [also] any contributor or facilitator of these radical activists."

The Wall Street Journal wrote in 2001 that if Earth Liberation Front has a spiritual ancestor, "it is with the night riders of the Ku Klux Klan." WSJ went on to cite the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski "who wrote to a TV reporter in Denver to ‘congratulate' those responsible for the huge Vail fire and who has admitted to picking two of his victims from a hit list from Earth First!, father to ELF."

One can only applaud the committee for undertaking this investigation and public hearings. Domestic terrorists used to be the focus of congressional probes on an ongoing basis. The Senate Internal Security Subcommittee and the House Committee on Un-American Activities, lamentably, are no more.

This is only the beginning of a long-overdue expose. There will be more. And when that hearing takes place next month, we'll want a front row seat.


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You may think that this is the United States of America and that you are allowed to make these choices for yourself. Busybodies we have always had with us. But these busybodies believe in settling the argument with threats and violence. Next month (exact date to be...
Monday, 25 April 2005 12:00 AM
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