Eco-Terrorism, The Green Threat

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Over the last twenty years, according to, yuku.com, radical environmental and animal rights groups known as, Eco-terrorists have been responsible for hundreds of criminal acts like, arson, bombings, vandalism and harassment. Highbeam.com estimates that, these terrorist acts have caused more than $100 million in damage. Authorities have managed to capture some of these radical activists, but the rest function in eco-terror cells that are small and loosely affiliated thus making them extremely difficult to identify and as a result most attacks remain unsolved.

In that last decade, we have been more focused on their Islamic cousins especially after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of thousands of innocent Americans. A little known fact is that, Eco-terrorism, historically, has been the most active of all domestic terrorist groups. In recent years, an alarming amount of terrorist acts here in the United States have been carried out in the name of animal rights and environmental protection.

Car dealers, housing developments, a.k.a., mc-mansions, timber companies, medical research laboratories, restaurants, and fur farms have all fallen victim to these radical environmentalist groups across the country. Thankfully, no one has been injured in a domestic Eco-terrorist attack, as of yet. However, the increasingly bold and violent nature of these types of attacks means that it won’t be long until someone gets hurt or even killed. There was an estimated $50 Million in damage caused by Arson in San Diego, 2003

According to adl.org, since the 70s, hundreds of groups across the United States have been calling for greater legal protection for animals and the environment, change has been painfully slow, despite these calls, fueling the rage of these underground terrorist movements. During the last twenty years, extreme animal and environmental rights activists, a.k.a. Eco-terrorists, have committed hundreds of heinous acts. The laundry list of atrocities including, arson, bombings, vandalism and harassment, have caused more than $100 million in damage.

In recent years, fast-food restaurants, car dealerships and housing developments have all been burned to the ground in the name of “ecology” and “animal rights.” One of the most frightening indications of how radicalized these people have become is the fact that they now have begun to target people who merely work for companies perceived as harming animals or destroying the environment.

Influenced by their English predecessors and the anarchist movement, Eco- terrorists have become a force to be reckoned with. They operate in autonomous cells, they are unconstrained by geographic boundaries and they are very difficult to infiltrate and stop. This is because they are unlike their racial hate group brothers in that they do not have established hierarchies or membership requirements. An activist can become an Eco-terrorist simply by attributing their illegal actions to the movement.

While most discussions of terrorism focus singly on Islamic threats, Eco-terrorist attacks are often ignored and so they continue to occur around the country posing a significant threat to the safety and well-being of the public at large. In 2005, according to planetizen.com, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee convened a hearing on “eco-terrorism,” in an anxious attempt to warn the nation of a rising danger that has already killed … well, nobody.

Despite the low body count, a large number of property crimes make fringe ecological and animal-rights groups the greatest domestic terror threat facing the U.S., according to the FBI’s John Lewis, who testified before the committee. He acknowledged that groups like the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front have not caused bodily harm, per se, but cited “troubling signs that this is changing,” like “violent rhetoric.”

In 2010, according to itproportal.com, Swiss police foiled an attempted terrorist attack on IBM’s nanotechnology research center in Switzerland. The lab in Rueschlikon, near Zurich, was scheduled to open in 2011. Police uncovered evidence of the plot during a routine traffic stop on April 15 in the Swiss town of Langnau. Three members of Italian Eco-terrorist outfit Il Silvestre, an anarchist group opposed to micro technology, nuclear power and the arms industry, were detained on suspicion of planning to bomb the establishment after a search of their vehicle revealed a suspect device. Two of the men arrested, Costantino Ragusa and Silvia Guerini, have previously served prison sentences for terrorist offences.

Russell W. Dickson, lives in upstate NY, and is a Freelance journalist. He has written for both print and online news/opinion pages.Russell holds a B.A. in English, minor Journalism from The University at Albany, Albany, NY. His writing experience spans more than a decade and his work has graced the pages of newspapers, magazines, online news orgs, and political websites in both the U.S. and abroad.