FBI Alert for Treehugger Wackos

We just had to screenshot that Sploid headline. Environmental and animal rights extremists who have turned to arson and explosives are the nation’s top domestic terrorism threat, the FBI has told lawmakers. Don't just worry about those foreigner types anymore- now check out what's under the next poncho. Call this treehugger wacko, but how high can the paranoia get cranked? Office sit-ins and keying hummers are equivalent to al-Qaida? Give me a fu**ing break. ::Sploid by [LA] Skepticism from some (via CNN)

Some committee members have expressed skepticism over the high level of concern toward environmental and animal rights extremists.

"The Department of Homeland Security spends over $40 billion a year to protect the home front," Sen. Frank Lautenberg said. After listing al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah, the Democrat from New Jersey wanted to know who else the law enforcement agencies considered terrorists: "Right to Life? Sierra Club?"

Lautenberg declared himself "a tree hugger."

And Sen. James Jeffords also issued a statement expressing doubt about the target of concern.

"Congress can't do much about individual extremists committing crimes in the name of ELF or ALF, but we can act to significantly enhance the safety of communities across the nation," the independent from Vermont wrote.

"ELF and ALF may threaten dozens of people each year, but an incident at a chemical, nuclear or wastewater facility would threaten tens of thousands."

But the right wingnuts love it...

Center for Consumer Freedom to Expose Support of ALF/ELF Terror Groups by PETA and Others

WASHINGTON, May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- As our nation continues to fight the international war on terror, eco-terrorism is steadily gaining prominence within the United States. Homegrown eco-terrorists and animal-rights extremists, including the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), have claimed credit for more than 1,100 terrorist crimes and $110 million in damage. These have included arson, assault, vandalism and other crimes against scores of individuals and American companies. The Department of Homeland Security recently added ALF and ELF to its list of terror groups, while the FBI has been forced to pull precious resources away from the hunt for al-Qaeda to fund the crackdown on these groups' increasingly violent actions.

Also alarming are the relationships these domestic terrorist groups have with tax-exempt organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Humane Society of the United States, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Senator James Jeffords (I-VT), and the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works will explore these domestic terror groups and their relationships with above-ground organizations in a committee hearing tomorrow on Capitol Hill. Center for Consumer Freedom Director of Research David Martosko will be delivering testimony and providing evidence on the issue, and is available for comment.

Gristmill says:The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee convened a hearing on "eco-terrorism" yesterday, anxious to warn the nation of a rising danger that has already killed ... well, nobody. Despite the unimpressive body count, a growing number of property crimes make fringe ecological and animal-rights groups the single greatest domestic terror threat facing the U.S., according to the FBI's John Lewis, who testified before the committee. He acknowledged that groups like the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front have not caused bodily harm, per se, but cited "troubling signs that this is changing," like "violent rhetoric." After the testimony, committee chair James Inhofe (R-Okla.) got to the real agenda: Smearing the larger environmental movement. "Just like al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organization, ELF and ALF cannot accomplish their goals without money, membership, and the media," he said darkly, vowing to look more closely for ways that radical groups get assistance from "mainstream activists." That's you, folks.

Wonkette says:Code Green: Radical Treeists are Biggest Domestic Threat

If we were a Ford Explorer or an empty building, we'd probably feel differently. But in the wake of the FBI's announcement that "environmental and animal rights extremists who have turned to arson and explosives are the nation's top domestic terrorism threat," we're feeling relatively safe today. Not yet charting on the FBI's list of homegrown menaces: pie-throwing liberals or popular talk-show hosts who publicly fantasize about choking Michael Moore to death.