[News] Eco-warriors are 'US terror risk'

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 20 08:41:04 EDT 2005


Eco-warriors are 'US terror risk'

Eco-terrorism has become a serious US domestic security threat, a senior 
FBI official has told a Senate committee.

Counter-terrorism expert John Lewis said groups like the Earth Liberation 
Front and Animal Liberation Front were now a law enforcement priority.

The threat posed by environmental and animal rights activists was serious 
and widely underestimated, he said.

He said eco-warriors committed 1,200 criminal acts between 1990 and 2004 
causing millions of dollars of damage.

'New violent tactics'

"Extremists have used arson, bombings, theft, animal releases, vandalism 
and office takeovers to achieve their goals," said Mr Lewis, the FBI's 
counter-terrorism deputy assistant director.

"Investigating and preventing animal rights extremism and eco-terrorism is 
one of the FBI's highest domestic priorities," he told the Senate committee 
on environment and public works.

He said groups such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), the Earth 
Liberation Front (ELF) and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) were "way 
out in front" in terms of damage and number of crimes.

"There is nothing else going on in this country over the last several years 
that is racking up the high number of violent crimes and terrorist 
actions," Mr Lewis said.

"We have seen an escalation in violent rhetoric and tactics. Attacks are 
also growing in frequency and size."

Mr Lewis said the FBI was committed "to bring to justice those who commit 
crime in the name of animal or environmental rights".

Committee chairman James Inhofe said he hoped to examine more closely the 
groups' financing from mainstream sources not implicated in the violence.

"Just like al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organisation, ELF and ALF cannot 
accomplish their goals without money, membership and the media," Mr Inhofe 
said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/4561059.stm

Published: 2005/05/19 02:21:33 GMT


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