NEWS

Operation Backfire: Eleven Down, Two to Go

By Carlton Purvis

The largest eco-terrorism case in U.S. history may be closing in on its final chapters.

After a decade on the run, Canadian citizen and animal rights activist, Rebecca Jeanette Rubin turned herself in to authorities at the border in Blaine, Washington. Rubin is the eleventh of 13 people wanted by the FBI as part of Operation Backfire, a conspiracy investigation into the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The cell called itself “The Family.”

“The alleged leader of The Family, William C. Rodgers, committed suicide in a jail in Arizona after being indicted in 2006. Along with another member of The Family, Rodgers is believed to have been the author of the ALF manual, Setting Fires With Electrical Timers: An Earth Liberation Front Guide,” reports the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Rubin and 12 others were charged with 20 acts of arson across five states from 1996-2001, according to a press release distributed by the FBI last week.

In 2007, 10 other members plead guilty and received prison terms from 37 to 156 months.

Authorities say Rubin was a participant in a 1997 arson that targeted a U.S. Bureau of Land Management facility in Oregon, an attempted arson in 1998 in Colorado, and conspiracy and other charges for her role in a 2001 fire in California.

The FBI says only Joseph Mahmoud Dibee and Josephine Sunshine Overaker remain at large as “international fugitives.”

For background on how the FBI infiltrated The Family, check out this story from the Associated Press.


photo by GreenIsTheNewRed/flickr
 

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