Posted: September 26th, 2023

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ED BRADLEY: When they first emerged in the mid-1990s, the environmental extremists calling themselves the Earth Liberation
Front announced they were the burning rage of a dying planet. Ever since, the ELF, along with its sister group, the Animal
Liberation Front, has been burning everything from research labs to housing developments. In the last decade, these so-called
ecoterrorists have been responsible for more than $100 million in damages, and their tactics are beginning to escalate. Some
splinter groups have set off homemade bombs and threatened to kill people. As we reported last November, things have
gotten so bad, the FBI now considers them the country’s biggest domestic terrorist threat.


BRADLEY: This is the biggest act of ecoterrorism in US history, a fire deliberately set on the night of August 1st, 2003, that
destroyed this nearly completed $23 million apartment complex just outside San Diego, a fire set to protest urban sprawl.


MR. JEFF CARLE: It’s the biggest fire I have ever responded to as a firefighter.01:05

BRADLEY: Jeff Carle is a division chief for the San Diego Fire Department.01:10

MR. CARLE: That fire was not stoppable.01:15

MR. CARLE: At the stage that the fire was in when we arrived, there were problems in the adjacent occupied apartment
complexes: pine trees were starting to catch fire, items on patios were starting to light up, and we had to direct our activity
toward saving life before we could do anything about the property.

BRADLEY: Hundreds were roused from their beds and evacuated. Luckily, nobody, including firefighters, was injured. By the
time the fire burned itself out the next morning, all that remained was a 12-foot-long banner that read, “If you build it, we will
burn it.” Also on the banner was the acronym “ELF.”


BRADLEY: When you saw that banner, what went through your mind?01:55

MR. CARLE: I knew I had a problem.02:00

60 Minutes, Burning Rage
produced by Graham Messick, fl. 2000-2016, Columbia Broadcasting System; interview by Ed Bradley, 1941-2006, in 60 Minutes (New York, NY:

Columbia Broadcasting System, 2005), 12 mins

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BRADLEY: A problem, because he knew what “ELF” stood for, the Earth Liberation Front, the most radical fringe of the
environmental movement. It’s the same group that set nine simultaneous fires across the Vail Mountain Ski Resort in 1998 to
protest its expansion, causing $12 million in damage. And the same group that left SUV dealerships across America looking




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