There are signs that the most active environmental extremist movement in the United States may have been responsible for burning down luxury homes in a Seattle suburb.
On March 3, 2008, fires gutted several multimillion-dollar show homes in Woodenville, Washington. According to authorities in Snohomish County, firefighters were letting the fires burn in case the homes had been booby-trapped.
Authorities found a white sheet with a message spray-painted in red reading: "Built Green? Nope BLACK! McMansions + RCD's r not green (RCD stands for Rural Clutter Development)." The message was signed "ELF," the initials of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), which has claimed responsibility for numerous arsons against housing developments over the years, including several in the Puget Sound region.
In January 2006, a fire destroyed a mansion under construction at Camano Island, Washington, causing about $2 million in damages. A pink bed sheet draped over the gate leading to the house was spray-painted with "ELF."
In April 2005, an incendiary device destroyed a garage of a 3,400-square-foot home, causing about $300,000 in damages. A second device, found at another nearby home, malfunctioned. A white sheet was found painted with the words, "Where Are All The Trees? Burn, Rapist, Burn," and signed, "ELF."
A federal jury in Tacoma is currently deliberating in the trial of Briana Waters, a 32-year-old woman prosecutors say was involved in the 2001 firebombing of the Center for Urban Horticulture at the University of Washington. Waters is accused of serving as a lookout while others planted a fire bomb. ELF claimed responsibility for that fire as well.
Waters is one of approximately 20 people indicted in recent years on charges related to 17 acts of domestic terrorism claimed by ELF and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) in five western states between 1996 and 2001.