Monday, March 3, 2008

Ecoterror linked to Arson in Washington

Looks like the ELF is at it again.

From the AP

WOODINVILLE, Wash. (AP) - Fires gutted four multimillion-dollar model homes in a Seattle suburb on Monday, and authorities found a sign purportedly left by eco-terrorists that mocks claims that the homes were environmentally friendly.

"Built Green? Nope black!" said the spray-painted sign that bore the initials of the radical environmental group Earth Liberation Front.

Explosive devices were found in the homes, and crews were able to remove them, said Fire Chief Rick Eastman of Snohomish County District 7. The FBI was investigating the fires as a potential domestic terrorism act, said FBI spokesman Rich Kolko in Washington, D.C.

The fires started at the "Street of Dreams," a strip of unoccupied, furnished luxury model homes where developers show off the latest in high-end housing, interior design and landscaping. The homes are later sold.

No injuries were reported in the fires, which began before dawn in the wooded subdivision and were still smoldering by midmorning.

The homes are in a development near the headwaters of Bear Creek, which is home to endangered chinook salmon. Opponents of the development had questioned whether the luxury homes could pollute the creek and an aquifer that is a drinking water source, and whether enough was done to protect nearby wetlands.

The sign, a sheet with red scraggly letters, said "McMansions in RCDs r not green," a reference to rural cluster developments.

One of the people involved in the project said the homes used "green" techniques such as water-pervious sidewalks, super-insulated walls and windows and products made with recycled materials, such carpet pads. Advertising for last summer's Street of Dreams show focused on the environmentally friendly aspects of the homes, which were smaller than some of the huge houses featured in years past.

So even with eco-friendly construction techniques, there are those still who hate development enough to take direct action against it.

I suspect that those who committed this act think of themselves as environmentalists; in my mind they seem closer to Anarcho-primitivists. Less about saving the environment and more about enforcing their world view and lifestyle on others.

The ELF is an interesting group. Less a group really than an ideology; they were famous a few years back for publishing an arson manual noted for it's completeness. Unlike other drek available online, this manual reportedly included basic instruction on soldering, architecture, making a clean room to avoid leaving DNA evidence... rather complete. One could look at it as a means of catastrophic empowerment.

With no centralized command and control, the decentralized nature of the ELF makes it very hard to stamp out; traditional law enforcement means of infiltrating organized crime groups don't work because there is nothing organized to infiltrate.

In that sense, the ELF and this latest story remind me of the Global Guerrillas post from yesterday as well as open source warfare in general.

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