In the Wake of the Giffords Shooting, FBI Agents Investigate… Spraypaint on Fishing Boats

by Will Potter on January 12, 2011

in Terrorism Court Cases

earth liberation front vandalism mass fishing boatsIn the aftermath of the Arizona shooting, FBI agents are investigating what they say may be another act of domestic terrorism: spraypaint on fishing boats.

The Boston Herald reports that slogans including “Commercial fishing first class rape” and “sea life kidnapped, murdered, maliciously” were spraypainted on fishing boats in North Plymouth, Massachusetts this week.

The FBI is investigating whether it was the work of the Earth Liberation Front, or ELF, which FBI officials have called the “number one domestic terrorism threat.”

As the FBI and local press rush to label this vandalism “terrorism,” though, there’s reason to doubt whether it was a crime by environmentalists at all. Local fisherman are upset about government regulations restricting overfishing. And two of the spraypainted slogans were signed “Greenpeace” (a national group which condemns property destruction).

It reminds me of another incident in Massachusetts, where a pet store owner burned down his shop after spraypainting ALF at the scene. It was an insurance scheme.

As I wrote recently, the FBI has already been warned by the Justice Department that its obsessive focus on environmentalists ignores more violent threats.

I think it’s safe to say that this is not the “targeting” that most of the country is concerned about right now.

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