Testimony of Robert S. Mueller, III
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Before the Senate Committee on Intelligence of the United States Senate
February 16, 2005
The Threat from Domestic Terrorism
While national attention is focused on the substantial threat posed by international terrorists to the homeland, law enforcement officials must also contend with an ongoing threat posed by domestic terrorists based and operating strictly within the U.S. Domestic terrorists motivated by a number of political or social agendas -- including white supremacists, black separatists, animal rights/environmental terrorists, anarchists, anti-abortion extremists, and self-styled militia -- continue to employ violence and criminal activity in furtherance of these agendas.
Animal rights and environmental extremists, operating under the umbrella of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and Earth Liberation Front (ELF) utilize a variety of tactics against their targets, including arson, sabotage/vandalism, theft of research animals, and the occasional use of explosive devices.
Serious incidents of animal rights/eco-terrorism decreased in 2004, a fact we attribute to a series of law enforcement successes that are likely deterring large-scale arsons and property destruction. Following a rash of serious incidents of animal rights/eco-terrorism, including a $50 million arson in San Diego and two bombing incidents in the San Francisco area, law enforcement authorities achieved several significant successes which have likely deterred additional terrorist activity. Despite these successes, we anticipate that animal rights extremism and eco-terrorism will continue to threaten certain segments of government and private industry, specifically in the areas of animal research and residential/commercial development.
The potential for violence by anarchists and other emerging revolutionary groups, such as the Anarchist Black Cross Federation (ABCF), will continue to be an issue for law enforcement. The stated goals of the ABCF are "the abolishment of prisons, the system of laws, and the Capitalist state." The ABCF believes in armed resistance to achieve a stateless and classless society. ABCF has continued to organize, recruit, and train anarchists in the tactical use of firearms.