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Early Monday morning, three luxury show homes in a northeast Seattle suburb were destroyed by fire in an apparent arson and a possible act of domestic terrorism.

Two more houses were targeted, one of which was damaged. Each of the homes—models for a massive luxury development called the “Seattle Street of Dreams” northeast of the city—was vacant. No one was hurt in the blazes. 

Two FBI evidence experts at the scene and an aerial picture of the destroyed homes.

Two FBI evidence experts at the scene and an aerial picture of the destroyed homes.

Our Seattle Joint Terrorism Task Force—one of more than 100 around the country—responded to the scene and launched an investigation in concert with local county fire crews and investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

A large banner signed by the eco-terrorist group ELF, or Earth Liberation Front, was left at the scene on a nearby fence. The sign read: “Built Green? Nope Black! McMansions + RCDs r not green ELF.” “RCD” is apparently a reference to rural cluster developments. 

The attack is the first linked to ELF in the Seattle area since January 2006, says Dave Gomez, the FBI Seattle Assistant Special Agent in Charge responsible for counterterrorism. Nationwide, radical environmentalists have threatened lives and caused more than $100 million in damages in recent years, targeting businesses, universities, researchers, and others it believes are harming the environment. Some victims have been attacked by mistake. ELF radicals typically work in autonomous cells, much like many international terrorist operatives. 

If you have any information concerning the fires, please contact the Seattle Joint Terrorism Task Force at (206) 622-0460.

For more information:
- Wanted Domestic Terrorists 
- Operation Backfire
- The Case of the Calculating Eco-Terrorist

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