FBI issues eco-terror warning for Northwest cities

Thursday, June 10, 2004


SEATTLE - The FBI is warning police in several Northwest cities - including Eugene, Olympia and possibly Seattle - that groups supporting a convicted environmental arsonist are planning weekend events.

On June 16, 2000, arson destroyed three SUVs at a Eugene, Ore., truck dealership. Later that night two men, one of them 23-year-old Jeffrey Luers, were arrested for the crime. In a sentencing that shocked friend and foe alike, Luers was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Police hope to avoid a situation like the WTO riots in Seattle in 1999.
"It's a severe sentence but the problem is, it's being done to send a message to his cohorts, said Alan Gottlieb of the Center for Defense of Free Enterprise.

Anti eco-terrorist groups hailed the sentence but several secret organizations suddenly made Luers a martyr for the cause.

Anarchists groups were blamed for inciting riots in several cities and the FBI's number-one domestic terrorist group, the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), blamed for several Northwest arson attacks, praised Luers' actions.

That's why the FBI is concerned enough to send an alert to police that Saturday is the anniversary of Luers' imprisonment.

There are several groups with Web sites that are holding events marking the anniversary, but the only event scheduled in Seattle is a naked bike rally scheduled at Gasworks Park Saturday.

The FBI apparently believes something much more sinister will happen that day, as do pro-business groups who track eco-terrorism.

"They tend to telegraph ahead of time when they are going to do something, and so if the FBI has some concrete information, that something might be being done, by all means we should take it seriously," said Gottlieb.

The last thing police want is another rally that turns into a riot, so often associated with the anarchy and eco-terrorism movement.

The FBI confirmed it issued the alert but said it was secret and was somehow leaked, so they won't talk about it.



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