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Thread: Fires-Beware!

  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Fires-Beware!

    SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - An underground anti-sprawl group
    the Earth Liberation Front is claiming responsibility for fires
    that have destroyed houses under construction near Ann Arbor.
    Last summer, two fires 22 days apart destroyed two luxury houses
    being built in Washtenaw County's Superior Township. On March 21,
    fire destroyed two other nearby houses.
    The slogan "ELF, no sprawl" was spray painted on the garage
    door of a house next to one of those burned in March in the Mystic
    Forest subdivision.
    The FBI, federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
    Explosives and the State Fire Marshal are involved in the
    investigation, Greg Stejskal, FBI Special Agent in charge of the
    Ann Arbor office, told the Detroit Free Press.
    The Earth Liberation Front is a radical environmental group that
    has claimed responsibility for a series of antigrowth attacks in
    the past six years.
    The group's Web site says that it "uses direct action in the
    form of economic sabotage to stop the destruction of the natural
    environment."
    "Since 1997, the ELF in North America has caused over $45
    million in damages to entities who profit from the destruction of
    life and the planet," the group says on its site.
    On the Web site, the group claims responsibility for the March
    21 fires, which it says caused $400,000 in damage. The group says
    no one has claimed responsibility for last summer's fires.
    The group also takes responsibility for burning luxury homes
    being built near Philadelphia late last year. A burning home is
    featured on the Web site, along with instructions on how to start
    fires.
    The Earth Liberation Front also claimed responsibility for a
    1999 fire targeting Michigan State University's agricultural
    biotechnology program. The group said it opposed genetic
    engineering of crops.
    A message seeking comment was sent Tuesday to an e-mail address
    listed on the group's Web site.
    Mystic Forest developer Richard Gilbert says he is considering
    new security options but has not decided on anything.
    "Security is a new word for me," he said. "But I can't be
    there 24 hours a day."
    Superior Township Fire Marshal Wayne Dickinson, whose department
    usually fights about three accidental house fires a year, said the
    arsons have residents on edge.
    "All of the builders are on pins and needles," he said. "They
    are getting security dogs and hiring people to sit in their houses
    because of what's going on."
    A couple whose house was burned last summer are taking
    precautions to prevent a recurrence.
    "We hired a security guard to sit in a trailer at night"
    outside the home, the woman told the newspaper, which did not
    publish her name. "It broke my heart. I don't know why anyone
    would do this to us. I don't want anyone else to have to go through
    this."

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


  2. #2
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post More Info-ELF

    By TAREK EL-TABLAWY
    Associated Press Writer
    DETROIT (AP) - Builders in the Ann Arbor area say they are
    evaluating how to upgrade security measures in the wake of two
    arson fires believed to have been started by domestic
    eco-terrorists.
    The fires on March 21 destroyed two homes under construction in
    the Mystic Forest subdivision in Washtenaw County's Superior
    Township, which is located about 35 miles west of Detroit.
    The garage door of the house next to one that was burned bore
    one of the group's trademark spray-painted signatures, "Elf, no
    sprawl."
    The slogan brought back memories of a 1999 torching of Michigan
    State University's Agriculture Hall.
    Responsibility for that attack was claimed by the Earth
    Liberation Front, a group the FBI has said it considers one of the
    nation's most prolific domestic terrorist organizations.
    "Our focus, now, is how can we help protect the community and
    what should we be doing to prevent this type of thing from
    happening again," Bill Collins, president of the Washtenaw County
    Builders Association, said Tuesday.
    "We're not out to catch anybody. We're more interested in
    having this not happen again," he said.
    Collins says the association plans on meeting with security
    companies to discuss various options, including installing security
    cameras that would photograph license plates of vehicles entering
    the area.
    Collins says it also wants to approach insurance companies to
    donate to the costs of the cameras, noting that "spending $25,000
    on security equipment is better than paying out $400,000 to
    $500,000 in claims."
    "This has potential in rural areas like Mystic Forest, because
    there are few people living there now," he said, adding that the
    subdivision, with its proximity to the highway, makes it an easy
    target.
    The homes torched in the Superior Township subdivision were to
    be featured in a June 14-22 showcase of new homes. Upon completion,
    they would have been valued at $500,000 each.
    Those attacks came after two other homes in that area burned
    last summer. The FBI and police have yet to make headway in any of
    the four arson fires.
    In part, the problem is linked to the relative lack of
    information about the Earth Liberation Front.
    An April 1 release posted on the group's Web site indicates that
    its activists were involved, but shied away from assuming direct
    responsibility.
    The release said that the ELF press office "has been made aware
    of two ELF actions in the month of March" through media reports.
    "Although the ELF Press Office has received no communications
    about these actions, spray-painted signatures at both action scenes
    indicate claims of responsibility by ELF activists," the release
    said.
    FBI officials doubt that the March 21 fires were a generic arson
    attack.
    The signature is "characteristic of ELF," said FBI Special
    Agent Greg Stejskal, who heads the bureau's Ann Arbor office.
    "Because of the nature of the fire, we know ... accelerants
    were used and some kind of time-delay fuse was used," he said,
    adding that "this indicates some measure of sophistication."
    Posted on the group's Web site are instructions on how to build
    such devices.
    Stejskal says that the houses were completely burned, "leaving
    little to no physical evidence to collect."
    "Generally, the ELF opposes the development of luxury homes for
    the same reasons it opposes other forms of development - that is
    the destruction of the earth and animal habitats for the private
    gain of a few wealthy people," the group's press office said
    Tuesday in response to an e-mail request for comment.
    "The ELF is not opposed to housing developments that fill a
    need in communities," the message said. But it said luxury
    projects "are accelerating the destruction of forested areas,
    wetlands and other areas of environmental concern across North
    America.
    In the past six years, ELF has claimed responsibility for a
    number of antigrowth and ecologically linked attacks. It says that
    it, in conjunction with the another extremist group, the Animal
    Liberation Front, is responsible for $45 million in damage in North
    America since 1997.
    Among the more well-known arsons was in 1999 at Michigan State
    in which the school's agriculture building was destroyed.
    The main target was the Agricultural Biotechnology Support
    Project, a federally supported program that helps countries like
    Kenya, Indonesia and Egypt improve agriculture through the use of
    genetically engineered crops.
    Then, in November 2001, two unexploded bombs were found outside
    buildings on the campus of Michigan Technological University. While
    the incident wasn't linked directly to the ELF, it came just months
    after the group sent out a nationwide Earth Day e-mail warning
    against genetic engineering research.
    The ELF also claimed responsibility for a January 2003 attack on
    a northwestern Pennsylvania Ford truck dealership.
    Early on New Year's Day, someone sneaked onto the lot and
    ignited jugs full of gasoline under several vehicles. The fire
    damaged or destroyed a couple of Ford trucks and two sport utility
    vehicles.
    The latest attacks underscore how difficult that mission is.
    "It's hard to tell if there's an upward trend or if this is an
    isolated incident," said the FBI's Stejskal. "The other two fires
    ... weren't attributed to ELF, but they were in close proximity to
    these."
    "Does that indicate an upsurge in activity? I can't answer
    that."

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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