WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee held an oversight hearing today on Eco-terrorism specifically examining the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). ELF and ALF are special interest extremists that conduct acts of politically motivated violence to force segments of society, including the general public, to change attitudes about issues considered important to their causes.

 Senator Inhofe stated today:

 “The danger of ELF and ALF is imminent. Experts agree that although they have not killed anyone to date, it is only a matter of time until someone dies as a result of ELF and ALF criminal activity. With direct actions such as cutting the brake lines of 38 seafood delivery trucks or the use of firebombs and incendiary devices, it is through luck not planning that there are no ELF/ALF casualties. As a country, we must not only condemn terrorism, but we must also condemn the support and acts in furtherance of terrorism. It is time to take a look at the culture and climate of support for criminally based activism like ELF and ALF and do something about it.

“As with any other criminal enterprise, we can not allow individuals and organizations to, in effect, aide and abet criminal behavior or provide comfort and support to them after the fact. Just as we cannot allow individuals and organizations to surf in between the laws of permissible free speech and speech that incites violence when we know the goal is to inspire people to commit crimes of violence.”  

The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have both named ELF and ALF as a severe problem posing a serious threat to the safety of Americans. The FBI testified at today’s hearing that ELF and ALF are responsible for, estimating conservatively, over $110 million in damages and over 1,100 acts of terrorism in the last decade. ELF and ALF are a concern for American law enforcement over the likes of the KKK, Aryan Nation, militia groups, or anti-abortion groups.