Environmental Group Says It Burned Houses

SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- The radical environmental group Earth Liberation Front is claiming responsibility for fires that destroyed two houses near Ann Arbor in March.

The slogan ``ELF, no sprawl'' was spray painted on the garage door of a house next to one of those burned March 21 in the Mystic Forest subdivision. On its Web site, the group claims responsibility for the fires, which it says caused $400,000 in damage.

The group also takes responsibility for burning luxury homes being built near Philadelphia late last year. A picture of a burning home is featured on the Web site, along with instructions on how to start fires.

The group says no one has claimed responsibility for last summer's fires that destroyed two luxury homes under construction, but police said they suspect the ELF.

The FBI has said it considers the Earth Liberation Front one of the nation's most prolific domestic terrorist organizations. The group has claimed responsibility for a series of antigrowth attacks in the past six years.

A message seeking comment was sent Tuesday to an e-mail address listed on the group's Web site but its Web site says it ``uses direct action in the form of economic sabotage to stop the destruction of the natural environment.''

Superior Township Fire Marshal Wayne Dickinson, whose department usually fights about three accidental house fires a year, said the arsons have people 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.''

Loading