OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -The FBI has warned law enforcement agencies across the country that radical environmentalists might be staging protests this weekend to show their support for a jailed arsonist.

The FBI bulletin said the Earth Liberation Front reportedly was planning a “day of action and solidarity” that could include acts of eco-terrorism, according to Tor Bjornstad, a police commander in Olympia, one of the cities mentioned as a likely target.

Other cities mentioned in the bulletin were Eugene; Ore.; San Francisco; Modesto, Calif.; Morgantown, W. Va.; Portland; Worcester, Mass.; Lake Worth, Fla.; and Lawrence, Kan., Bjornstad said.

The warning was part of a weekly intelligence bulletin the FBI distributed to some 18,000 law enforcement agencies on Wednesday, said Bill Carter, a spokesman in the FBI’s Washington headquarters.

While no specific targets were identified in the bulletin, Bjornstad said his department has contacted potential target businesses, including auto dealerships, building contractors and the Port of Olympia.

“We have to take it seriously, and one of the reasons is that this group has claimed credit for a fair amount of criminal activity in the past several years … so it’s not the kind of group you want to shrug off as a lot of talk and not much more,” Bjornstad said Friday.

ELF has been linked to fires and vandalism at agriculture research labs, logging operations, car dealerships and construction sites. The group has defended its actions as efforts to stop companies from profiting from exploitation of the environment.

A Web site titled “International Day of Action & Solidarity with Jeff Free’ Luers” featured a list of events planned for Saturday, from protests at SUV dealerships to a naked bike ride in Olympia.

Jeff Luers is an environmental activist serving a 22-year sentence in Oregon for a 2000 arson at an auto dealership and an attempted arson at an oil company.

Bjornstad said no one in his department had heard about the naked bike event until he received the FBI bulletin on Thursday.

“We’re just grateful it’s not pogo sticks,” he said.



On the Net:

http://www.freefreenow.org/j12.html

AP-ES-06-11-04 2013EDT



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