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Burning Questions

Pete Springer/OPB

The Earth Liberation Front is back in the news this week. This morning, in a Seattle suburb, a fire burned three multi-million dollar show homes. As with past incidents, no one was hurt, but graffiti at the scene and explosive devices found among the charred remains suggest this may be the latest arson linked to the ELF. And after four years in a Canadian prison, Tre Arrow (aka Michael Scarpitti) was extradited to Oregon to stand trial for the 2001 arsons at Ross Island Sand and Gravel Company and Schoppert Logging Company in Eagle Creek. Meanwhile, in Tacoma today, a jury is deliberating the case of Briana Waters for her alleged role in a separate 2001 arson at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle. If she loses her case, Waters will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 35 years in prison.

Do the ELF and the equally shadowy Animal Liberation Front (ALF) represent a significant domestic threat? What does it mean that the government has labeled this terrorism? Has the crackdown against alleged arsonists been an effective deterrent?

Photo credit: cobalt123 / Flickr / Creative Commons.


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