Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 20, 2009

Animal and Eco-Terrorism Cases

Filed under: Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on March 20, 2009

Four animal-rights protesters pleaded not guilty Thursday in federal court to charges that they harassed and threatened researchers at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, saying they had been exercising their free-speech rights.

At issue for the activists and their attorneys is the constitutionality of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which makes it a federal crime to interfere with the operations of an animal enterprise through force, violence or threats while placing a person in a “reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.” The law carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.

More in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Meanwhile federal prosecutors are seeking a reduced sentence for convicted eco-terrorist Ian Wallace.  He admitted his involvement in vandalizing vehicles and an arson.  But he subsequently helped federal authorities crack an “attack on trees” in Wisconsin.

More from the Seattle Times.

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3 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 20, 2009 @ 11:01 am

Militancy and terroism in certain environmental groups is a long standing issue. Probably deserving of a thorough study and review by the HS/industrial/academic complex! But hey these guys and gals are usually easier to track than AQ!

Comment by Arnold

March 20, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

Actually, in many cases they can be harder to track or detect before they perform an operation. Extreme animal rights (and now increasingly some environmental) groups exhibit a very pure autonomous cell structure that some in AQ espouse, but which has not yet been realized.

Rod Beckstrom and his co-author outlined this phenomena in their book, “The Starfish and The Spider,” and explained that authorities have spent considerable time and resources attempting to infiltrate such groups with little success.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 21, 2009 @ 8:05 am

Thanks Arnold! A good reminder and had that book on my list to read.

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