AR-News: (US) Eco-terror act at Vail unsolved 5 years later
info at animalconcerns.org
Sun Oct 19 12:15:38 EDT 2003
"It was one of the largest fires I've ever seen," Mobley said this week,
recalling the destruction that raged on the mountain around him five years
ago today. "It looked like something exploded. You could tell there was no
way to stop it."
The fire launched an investigation that pulled in Boulder environmentalists.
It didn't occur to Mobley during the 14 hours he worked on the mountaintop
that the blaze was set by arsonists, he said.
Two days later, an anonymous message sent to news media outlets said the
fires were the work of the little-known Earth Liberation Front an attack
on a "greedy corporation" on behalf of the environment.
For the shadowy ELF, known mainly by detectives investigating much smaller
attacks, most in the Northwest, the blaze was a coming-out party.
The group's emergence as the standard-bearer for the radical environmental
fringe continues to raise questions of whether the willingness to resort
to destruction aids the cause or threatens the environmental movement's
FBI questions and the grand jury probe continued for more than a year. No
tie to the Vail fires or ELF ever emerged involving Doon, Ancient Forest
Rescue members or anyone else, that was strong enough to compel an indictment.
Doon calls the grand jury investigation a sort of "un-American
McCarthyism" and said the apparent fixation on Ancient Forest Rescue
probably hurt the investigation more than it helped.
Investigators and environmental critics such as Arnold tend to overstate
the power and presence of ELF, he said.
Rod Coronado disagrees.
The 37-year-old Tucson resident is the unofficial spokesman for ELF and
one of the most high-profile figures from the radical animal-rights and
environmental world. Coronado was in federal prison at the time of the
Vail fires, serving four years after pleading guilty to helping a 1992
firebombing of a Michigan State University animal laboratory, one of a
string of attacks on university research labs.
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