Incident Summary:

01/20/2003: Earth Liberation Front (ELF) member, Christopher McIntosh, admitted to setting fire to the McDonald's fast-food restaurant across from the Space needle in Seattle, Washington in the United States. McIntosh climbed onto the roof of the restaurant and poured several gallons of gasoline over it, before igniting the fuel; the arson caused $5,000 in damages, but there were no casualties in the incident. After setting the fire, McIntosh called the Seattle arson tip line and left a message claiming the incident in the name of both ELF and ALF, and stated that more incidents were to come, "as long as McDonald's keeps hurting our furry brothers." He was linked to the fire due to spray paint and sunglasses left at the scene. In December 2005, McIntosh was sentenced to 8 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges in September of that year.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
at McDonald's fast food restaurant on 5th Avenue North, across from the Space needle

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity McDonald's fast food restaurants
Specific Description McDonald's fast food restaurant across the street from the Space needle in Seattle, WA
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 $5,000.00
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Gasoline or Alcohol
Weapon Details
several gallons of gasoline ignited
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
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Earth Liberation Front (ELF) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Call (post-incident))
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
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
Paul Shukovsky, "Arsonist gets 8 years for McDonald's fire; Activist tells judge of desire to help earth," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 17, 2005.
"Guilty plea in Seattle McDonald's fire," United Press International, September 27, 2005.
Peter Lewis, "8-year sentence for 2003 arson at eatery," Seattle Times, December 17, 2005.