A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Countering Ecoterrorism in the United States: The Case of 'Operation Backfire'

American counterterrorism officials consider those who commit violent acts in the name of the environment and animal rights a serious threat to homeland security. In congressional testimony more than six years ago, Senator James Inhofe noted that radical actors affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front had caused more than $110 million in damage between approximately 1995 and 2005 (Inhofe 2005). Since that time, members of the radical environmentalist movement (REM) continue to carve out a prominent place in the domestic terrorism landscape. In this report, we examine a joint, inte‐agency investigation, known as Operation Backfire, into acts of ecoterrorism that occurred in the country’s North west at the turn of the millennium.  The target of Operation Backfire, a group known as the Family, caused more than $40 million in property damage and disrupted numerous lives and businesses
from 1996‐2001


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Full Citation:

Deshpande, Nick, and Howard Ernst. 2012. "Countering Ecoterrorism in the United States: The Case of 'Operation Backfire.'" College Park, MD: START. http://www.start.umd.edu/pubs/START_EffectivenessofLECountermeasuresOpe…

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