Incident Summary:

12/26/1998: In a fax received by The Associated Press, members of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) claimed responsibility for setting fire to the U.S. Forest Industries headquarters office in Medford, Oregon in the United States, causing about $990,220 in damage. The arson was caused by an incendiary, composed of two five-gallon buckets filled with a fuel mixture and timing devices, which was placed in front of the building behind some bushes. There were no casualties in the incident. The communiqué sent to AP and also published in an Internet news release from the Animal Liberation Frontline Information Service, stated that the act was performed as retaliation for the forests and animals lost to "feed the wallets of greedy" corporations. The perpetrators were part of a group calling themselves "The Family," which committed nearly 20 arson and ecotage attacks over a 6 year period.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
at the U.S. Forest Industries office at 2611 Whittle Ave in Medford, OR

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (General)
Name of Entity U.S. Forest Industries
Specific Description U.S. Forest Industries headquarters office in Medford, OR
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage $990,220.00
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Gasoline or Alcohol
Weapon Details
two five-gallon buckets of diesel/unleaded mix and a one gallon jug with cigarette delays
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information The perpetrators had initially placed the incendiary devices at the U.S. Forest Industries building on December 22, but after a few days passed and the group hadn't heard anything about a fire in the news, they went back to check on the devices on December 26, and noticed that they hadn't ignited and much of the fuel had evaporated. Thus, they created a new ignition device from sponges, matches and a cigarette, which proceeded to cause the $990,000 arson. Ferguson became a government informant and witness in exchange for 2 years probation, Tubbs was sentenced to 12 years and 7 months in prison for his involvement in various arson incidents including this case, Tankersley was sentenced to 3 years and 10 months for her involvement in various arson incidents including this case, and Rubin remained fugitive.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Group Sub-name Claimed Responsibility
Earth Liberation Front (ELF) The Family Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Letter)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 4
Number of Captured Perpetrators 3
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
U.S. Government’s Sentencing Memorandum for CR 06-60069, CR 06-60070, CR 06-60071, CR 06-60078, CR 06-60079, CR 06-60080, CR 06-60120, CR 06-60122, CR 06-60123, CR 06-60124, CR06-60125, and CR 06-60126. U.S. District Court: District of Oregon, Eugene, 2007.
"ELF claims responsibility for fire," Associated Press State & Local Wire, January 17, 1999.
"Six arrested on federal arson and property destruction indictments," States News Service, Portland, Oregon, December 8, 2005.