AR-News: (US-ca)Officials doubt student linked to S.D. arsons

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Thu Mar 11 08:15:51 EST 2004

[from San Diego Union Tribune]

A 23-year-old graduate student arrested in connection with the
vandalization of 125 sport utility vehicles in the Los Angeles area does
not appear to be connected to a series of San Diego arsons blamed on a
radical environmentalist group.

William Cottrell of Pasadena was arrested Tuesday after federal agents
traced e-mails he sent using an alias to the Los Angeles Times in which he
admitted he helped vandalize the vehicles by spray painting or setting
them on fire, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

In the e-mails, Cottrell also described himself as a member of the Earth
Liberation Front, a loose affiliation of radical environmentalists that
has claimed responsibility for several acts of arson, including a $50
million fire that destroyed a 206-unit housing development under
construction in University City. 

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