For terrorist attacks directed against the environment, see environmental terrorism.
Eco-terrorism, also called ecoterrorism or green terrorism, is terrorism committed in support of ecological, environmental, or animal rights causes. The word is a neologism and its application is contested.
Eco-terrorism is defined by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation's Domestic Terrorism Section as "the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against innocent victims or property by an environmentally-oriented, subnational group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature." This characterization of property destruction as "violence against property" rather than as vandalism is highly contentious. Within this article, however, acts labelled eco-terrorism by law enforcement are considered, whether or not they involve violence against persons or living things.
The FBI has credited to eco-terrorism 200 million dollars in property damage from 2003 and 2008, and a majority of states within the USA have introduced laws aimed at eco-terrorism
The acts of violence described by authorities as eco-terrorism vary widely. Some acts involve sabotage of equipment and unmanned facilities using techniques ranging from equipment destruction to arson and firebombing. Tree spiking, the embedding of metal spikes in trees to deter logging, is sometimes described as eco-terrorism because of the risk to loggers when the spikes are struck by chainsaws and other machinery. Most of these acts fail to meet law enforcement's definition of eco-terrorism, as they lack the publicity and symbolic elements. Arson attacks like ELF's 2008 Seattle Street of Dreams arson fires and the 1998 arson attack on Vail, Colorado ski resorts and attacks on prominent individuals such as SHAC's alleged firebombing of stockbroker's car meet the more formal definition. Other groups accused of eco-terrorism include the Animal Liberation Front, (ALF) the Animal Rights Militia, (ARM) Earth First!, the Earth Liberation Army (ELA), the Environmental Rangers, the "Justice Department", the Revolutionary Cells - Animal Liberation Brigade (RCALB). and Sea Shepherd
Acts of civil disobedience may be described as eco-terrorism. In 2003, a conservative Texas legislative reform group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), proposed the "Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act" which defined an "animal rights or ecological terrorist organization" as "two or more persons organized for the purpose of supporting any politically motivated activity intended to obstruct or deter any person from participating in an activity involving animals or an activity involving natural resources." The legislation has not been enacted.
Activist groups accused of ecoterrorism :-
An ALF raid removing 82 beagles and 26 rabbits from Interfauna in Cambridge on St Patrick's Night 1990.
Organizations that have been labelled as "eco-terrorists" in the United States include the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). The FBI in 2001 named the ELF as "one of the most active extremist elements in the United States", and a "terrorist threat,"although they publicly disavow harm to humans or animals.
In October 2008 it was revealed that three members of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network were mistakenly suspected of terrorism by Maryland State Police and placed under surveillance for a 13-month period. The police later said that "no evidence whatsoever of any involvement in violent crime.
The Japanese Whaling Association has labeled the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as eco-terrorists for boarding whaling vessels.
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