Domestic Eco-Terrorism, PETA, ALF & ELF
With President Bush’s “War on Global Terrorism” making front page news reports and filling the news waves on the evening news, the American Public might not realize that there is in fact a war of sorts going on behind the scenes in their own country. This is the war on home-grown terrorist organizations. Moreover, it is the war to fight against the ALF (Animal Liberation Front) and its environmental little brother spin-off the ELF or Environmental Liberation Front. The Domestic Terrorism Section Chief of the FBI James Jarboe states that, “the ELF and ALF have become ‘one of the most active extremist elements in the United States’” (Pierce). In another article, John Lewis from the FBI stated that, “The #1 Domestic Terrorism Threat is the eco-terrorism, and animal rights movement.” (Schuster) According to Senate Environmental Committee Chairmen James Inhofe, the damages from Eco-Terrorism have totaled more that $110 million dollars in the last decade. (Frieden) Just recently the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA have been suspected of giving monies to the ELF and ALF to fund their terrorist activities.
One might ask, who are these terrorist organizations and why do they do what they do? These organizations got there start during the 1960’s in the UK when traditional fox hunts were disrupted by “protesters”. After the successes in these activities, the protestors would become terrorists when they set a research institute ablaze, destroying everything, but not harming anyone, yet. (ADL.org) According to ADL.org, it is hard to tell when the ALF really first got its start, but it is assumed to be during the 1979 break in and release of 5 animals at the New York University Medical School. Since then the autonomous members of the ALF have participated in numerous break-in’s where a number of research animals were let loose and also a few arsons totaling millions for dollars in damages. These attacks concentrate mainly on animal research centers, fur farms, hunting clubs etc., anywhere where an animal might be harmed.
While the ALF concentrates primarily on the Liberation of animals, the ELF or Earth Liberation Fronts primary mission is the protection of the environment from primarily large corporations that would harm the environment for financial gains for just harm the environment out of ignorance. According to ADL.org, in 1980 a group called “Earth First!” was formed. The idea of the group was to protect the environment. But, some of its members didn’t like the pacifist way of doing business, so they formed the Earth Liberation Front in England in 1992. (ADL.org) This group prefers to use “non-violent methods” of burning down buildings and destroying property. They say it’s non-violent because it doesn’t target human or animal related targets. The ELF has set some new record for property damage in the United States; in 1997 they claimed responsibility for a fire that...