Monday, March 06, 2006

Unintended 9/11 Fallout

America hasn't caught many terrorists we can actually tie to 9/11 — at least as far as we can see in the U.S. courts. But in recent months, the Feds have begun to round up and indict suspects in a string of fires dating back to the late 1990's, the most famous of which was the $12-million firebombing of a resort at Vail Montain.

It may be that 9/11 helped investigators crack these cases.

One agent involved in eco-terror cases recently told me some of the fringe conspirators looked at their activities differently after 9/11. Before, they saw their actions as principled resistance, and their model The Monkey Wrench Gang. After, the lines had shifted, and their new counterparts were the 9/11 hijackers.

Some, at least, didn't want to be on that team. They began to distance themselves from their old affiliations and eventually became ready to talk.

It's possible to argue that "eco-terrorism" isn't really terrorism because it doesn't target people. In fact, the firebombers took pains to avoid causing human casualties. But for at least some participants, the comparison to the WTC attackers as too close for conscience.

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