The New York Times writes about eco-terrorism, including a group known as the Earth Liberation Front, which is suspected in four fires at new home construction sites in Superior Township and Washtenaw County in the past year.

“Although splinter groups and tiny, self-styled insurgencies abound, the radical fringe has come to be represented by two groups: the Earth Liberation Front, or E.L.F., and the corresponding Animal Liberation Front, or A.L.F., both claiming responsibility for a large number of recent incidents. And while their precise day-to-day links are difficult to trace, experts say both groups tend to organize in small cells, anonymous both to the public and to each another. College campuses are breeding grounds.

Rodney Coronado, 37, who was convicted in 1995 of setting fire to a Michigan State University animal research laboratory and spent four years in federal prison, put it this way in a phone interview: “There is a young, disempowered person who might feel alone fighting urban sprawl in their community, but now can do so under E.L.F.”

His four years in prison were well worth it, Mr. Coronado insisted. “Sacrifice is something all movements have to be willing to make,” he said.

Such attitudes horrify mainstream environmental groups.

“These people aren’t environmentalists,” said Carl Pope, the executive director of the Sierra Club, of the recent torchings of condominiums in San Diego. “They’re arsonists.” (From “Enabling, and Disabling, Ecoterrorists”)

Author: Rob