Arrest made in one of three alleged eco-terror arsons
SACRAMENTO ” Investigators said Thursday they have made an arrest in one of three recent alleged eco-terror arsons east of Sacramento.
Ryan Daniel Lewis, 21, of Newcastle, was arrested at his home Wednesday and charged with the Jan. 12 attempted firebombing of a commercial building in the nearby Sierra foothills city of Auburn, northeast of Sacramento.
The FBI and U.S. attorney’s office said the arson attempt was believed to have been committed on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front, a shadowy environmental extremist movement.
No arrests have been made in a similar attempted firebombing at a subdivision in nearby Lincoln Dec. 27, or in the Feb. 7 arson at the 128-unit Pinewoods apartment complex in Sutter Creek to the south.
The FBI said its Joint Terrorism Task Force is continuing its investigation.
The five incendiary devices found at the Auburn commercial complex matched three devices found in homes in the upscale Lincoln subdivision, the FBI said previously.
Letters to several newspapers purporting to be from the Earth Liberation Front said the attempted Lincoln arson was a symbolic statement against suburban sprawl, while the Auburn office building was targeted as “a statement against work and the horror of the (cubicle).”
The letters promised more actions “every few weeks.”
None of those devices exploded, but seven crude explosive devices were found at the Sutter Creek apartment complex about 45 miles southeast of Sacramento, causing an early morning blaze. Just two of the apartments were occupied at the time, and fire sprinklers helped minimize the damage.
Nearby graffiti asserted that “We will win ” ELF,” investigators said.
The FBI says ELF has caused more than $100 million in damage since 1996, including an arson at a five-story condominium under construction in San Diego in August 2003 that caused $50 million in damages.
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