Domestic crimes may be considered ‘terrorist’ acts
by David Ziemer
November 12, 2009
Wisconsin Law Journal
Radical environmentalists may not see themselves as terrorists, but asked whether a terrorism enhancement applies to their sentences for destroying government property, the Seventh Circuit found the issue clear cut.
On Nov. 9, the court affirmed application of U.S.S.G. 3A1.4 to members of the Earth Liberation Front who destroyed several research projects at a U.S. Forest Service facility in Rhinelander.
In 2000, the defendants, Katherine Christianson and Bryan Rivera, and two others entered the facility and damaged or destroyed more than 500 trees that were part of a genetic engineering experiment, either by cutting them down or girdling them. (“Girdling” consists of removing a strip of bark from around a tree’s entire circumstance, causing eventual death.)
Christianson and Rivera were implicated in 2007, when one of the other conspirators was arrested for the attempted bombing of the Michigan Tech University campus.
Before addressing the merits, Judge Manion cautioned, “ELF and its members are not to be confused with the typical environmental protestor denouncing and peacefully demonstrating against such things as nuclear power, strip coal mining, cutting old-growth timber, offshore drilling, damming wild rivers, and so on.”
Instead, Manion observed, “ELF’s members take their activism to unconscionable levels: since ELF’s inception in 1987, its members have been responsible for bombings, arson, vandalism, and a host of other crimes. In fact, between 2000 and 2005, 43 of the 57 reported terrorist attacks committed on American soil were done by ELF members or their sister organization, the Animal Liberation Front. ELF’s terror attacks have caused over fifty million dollars in damage to public and private property.” Read More
If you are going to use violence, property destruction or threaten a person’s life in the name of your environmental or animal rights cause, you are going to be labeled a terrorist and dealt with accordingly. There terrorists are finding that out and hopefully others in their groups will realize this isn’t a game.