Incident Summary:

09/19/2003: The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is responsible for setting fire to a group of luxury homes that were under construction in Carmel Valley, in San Diego, California, U.S.A. The fire, set at 2:00 a.m. destroyed three homes at Shea Homes' Avalon Point, causing damages estimated at $300,000. Authorities found banners hung at the scene that read, "Development angry" and "The elfs are mad."



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:


San Diego

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity Shea Homes
Specific Description Avalon Point housing development
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 $300,000.00
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Arson/Fire
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Both fires occurred within a couple of hours of each other early Sept. 19th in the city's Carmel Valley. The valley has been the site of a political dispute between developers and environmentalists, who would like some of the area's open space to remain undeveloped.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Earth Liberation Front (ELF) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Note left at scene)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
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
Mark Arner, "Workers say arsons could have been worse; Fires destroy, damage homes at three job sites," San Diego Union Tribune, September 21, 2003.
Greenwire "Ecoterrorism: ELF suspected in two more San Diego Fires" SECURITY; Vol. 10, No. 9.