“Something called the Earth Liberation Front, which uses the improbably cute acronym ELF, torched a couple of buildings at the University of Minnesota campus in St. Paul last weekend,” writes St. Louis Pioneer Press columnist Joe Soucheray. “Why aren’t these criminals considered terrorists? Actually, the FBI has an anti-terrorism team investigating last weekend’s attack, but ELF hasn’t seemed to register in the public consciousness as a band of terrorists. They are nothing less than a domestic version of al-Qaida. They operate in loosely defined cells. They communicate electronically. If you were to get inside one of their caves, you would find photographs and maps of university facilities that they intend to destroy. And, like international terrorists, they probably can look entirely normal and might even be your neighbor or a distant cousin.
“We need to quit referring to them as radical environmentalists, or radical activists… ELF is responsible for millions and millions of dollars of damage. They risk killing anybody who happens to be asleep in one of the buildings or research labs they target for destruction. Like the terrorists we have known since Sept. 11, they are bent merely on destruction for the sake of destruction.”