In my 2008 book, “THREAT! Managing Risk in a Hostile World,” I warned about a terrorist group known as E.L.F. or the Earth Liberation Front. These are terrorists that strike out against businesses. They’ve burned homes under construction by builders and they have attacked automobile dealerships. I wrote about them in the context of a threat to data centers.
The Associated Press is reporting that an American citizen who is wanted on terrorism charges in the U.S. has been sentenced to a three-year prison term by a Chinese court. According to the report, 30-year-old Justin Franchi Solondz was found guilty to making illegal drugs in China.
The Seattle office of the FBI lists Solondz among its “most wanted.” Solondz is wanted by the FBI for his involvement with the Earth Liberation Front. Solondz is accused of “playing a role in the destruction of a horticultrual center at the University of Washington and buildings in Oregon,” according to the Associated Press report.
Founded in 1977, E.L.F. was originally known as the Environmental Life Force and was the first “eco-guerilla unit to use direct action,” according to one web site. E.L.F. has historically used arson as a tactic. Comprised of independent cells, without a formal structure, no leadership or chain of command, E.L.F. members operate independently. One group within E.L.F. does not support arson or other violent extremist acts but others do. E.L.F. remains a threat.
That Solodz was involved with the manufacture of drugs may or may not implicate E.L.F. But other terrorists involved with drugs are often involved in money laundering activities, using the proceeds from drug transactions to fund more terrorist actions.
- MacDonnell Ulsch