Electric-car driver was not an eco-terrorist, FBI admits

The FBI will issue a rare “letter of regret” and pay environmentalist Josh Connole $100,000 after mistakenly arresting him for domestic terrorism. Agents followed Connole for several days in 2003, after arson-vandalism attacks at four Southern California car dealerships in which gas-guzzlers were spray-painted with phrases like “Fat, Lazy Americans.” His suspicious activities included living communally with fellow vegans, installing solar panels, protesting the Iraq war, and (horrors!) driving an electric car. When Connole caught on to the surveillance and approached local law enforcement for help, FBI agents arrested him, held him for four days — often chained to a floor — and prodded him to confess to the arsons. But oopsie! Another guy did it, and even wrote to the Los Angeles Times mocking the FBI for arresting the wrong man. Asks Bill Paparian, Connole’s lawyer, “How does advocacy of electric cars become the basis for suspicion?” Now please excuse us while we check the office for bugs …

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