Feds indict 11 people for alleged eco-crime conspiracy
On Friday, 11 alleged “eco-terrorists” were indicted on a total of 65 counts in connection with a five-year string of arsons and vandalism. The indictments were announced at a press conference attended by Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, FBI Director Robert Mueller, ATF Director Carl J. Truscott, U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut, a marching band, and a squadron of F16 fighter jets (OK, we made up the last two). Labeling the crimes part of a “vast eco-terrorism conspiracy” centered in Eugene, Ore., federal prosecutors described nine years of investigating two groups, the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front. The 17 incidents described in the indictments — including arson at Colorado’s Vail ski resort, a lumber-company office in Oregon, and a horticultural center in Seattle — damaged or destroyed about $23 million in property, but caused no deaths. Still, the FBI says that stopping “eco-terrorism” remains its top domestic terror priority.