Incident Summary:

01/23/2001: Two men associated with the Animal Liberation Front, Peter Schnell and Matthew Whyte, were caught and arrested during their attempt to make and light incendiary devices outside of Capitola City Hall in Capitola, California in the United States, in an attempt to target City Hall. In the parking lot outside City Hall, the perpetrators were about to assemble incendiaries using 18 Magic Re-Light candles, 11 plastic one-gallon containers and enough gasoline to fill all 11 containers, until they were stopped and caught by police. Additionally, five containers of gasoline were found in Whyte's car at the time. There were no damages, nor injuries in this incident.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
outside Capitola City Hall, in Capitola, CA

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) No
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (General)
Name of Entity Capitola City Hall
Specific Description Capitola City Hall of Capitola, CA
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Gasoline or Alcohol
Weapon Details
18 Magic Re-Light candles, 11 plastic one-gallon containers and enough gasoline to fill all 11 containers to be used to make incendiary devices
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 Thought the attempted attack was not claimed by ALF, the perpetrators were affiliated with the group. The men were caught in the parking lot of the Capitola City Hall at about 1:00am. The men pled guilty to possession of unregistered destructive devices and faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Animal Liberation Front (ALF) (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators Unknown
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
"Two men plead guilty to possessing unregistered firearms," San Jose Mercury News, October 18, 2001.
Henry K. Lee, "Arrest in Alleged FBI Bomb Threat; 2 others charged with possessing explosives," San Francisco Chronicle, February 16, 2001.
"News briefs from California's Central Coast," Associated Press Sate & Local Wire, October 17, 2001.