Agents Provocateurs

ELF Fairy Tales


On January 13 the Federal Bureau of Investigation nabbed three members of the Earth Liberation Front in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Auburn, California. The FBI triumphantly claimed to have foiled the would-be bombers of power stations, research facilities, and California's Nimbus Dam. But as the accused go to trial, it looks like the only member of the group who did any serious plotting was the FBI's own informant.

Eco-activists Eric McDavid, Lauren Weiner, and Zachary Jensen lived in California with an FBI agent known as Anna, who had met McDavid at a 2004 anarchist event. Jensen has already pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge. But McDavid's attorney, Mark Reichel, claims his client and his friends were "three idiots" who couldn't have planned any attack. According to the bureau's documents, Anna had rented the house; her "terrorist cell" was too lazy to plan anything larger than a vegan meal.

Audiotapes recorded Anna pressing the activists to study bomb-making chemistry, at one point complaining that "you guys change your mind a lot" and "it seems like you guys don't want to do it at all."