- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 7, 2001

President Bush declared his support for a Palestinian state on Tuesday, using America's longtime ally as a pawn in exchange for Arab states' support for his international anti-terror commission. Indeed, as former FBI Director Louis Freeh pointed out, one of the gravest threats of domestic terrorism comes from radical environmental groups such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF).

ELF and ALF could be called key links in the web of violent environmental groups an eco-al-Qaeda. The individuals who join ELF adopt a fanatical ideology and a twisted morality. ALF's mission statement advocates "Animal liberation by whatever means necessary" and equates the "liberation" of animals to emancipating slaves. An ELF pamphlet maintains that "the profit motive, caused and reinforced by the capitalist society is destroying all life on this planet." The final ELF solution is to stop such destruction "by any means necessary."

Those means are usually attacks against automobiles, laboratories and other symbols of achievement and freedom. ELF's web site brazenly describes attacks and brags of causing well over $3 million in damage in simultaneous attacks on a fleet of logging trucks, and the arson of the office of a researcher at the University of Washington this past June. Another ELF press release claims credit for spiking hundreds of trees in Washington State. On Oct. 12, 1998, ELF arsonists caused more than $12 million in damage to a lodge in Vail, Colo.

ALF and ELF terrorists get much of their training de facto at online training camps. "Arson Around with Auntie ALF: Your guide to putting the heat on animal abusers everywhere," can be downloaded from ALF's web site. Visitors to the ELF web site can download a detailed 37-page manual on starting fires with electrical timers. Moreover, ELF and ALF are organized on classical terrorist lines. Each organization consists of numerous cells of individuals, any of which could go into action at any time.

Astonishingly, few members of ELF or ALF have ever received the justice due their actions. Clearly, they should, as such groups have openly declared war on the West. In a shocking statement, ALF press officer Robin Webb declared, "Animal liberation is not a campaign… . It's a war. A long, hard, bloody war … ."

Colorado Rep. Scott McInnis recently called ELF "the most active group in a growing underground ring of environmental terrorists" and had scheduled hearings on eco-terrorism for Sept. 12. While those hearings have been postponed until February, it is well past time to take the threats of eco-terrorists seriously. It is time for the United States to fight back and bring eco-terrorists to justice.

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