FBI Says Maryland Fires May Have Been Set by Ecoterrorists

December 7, 2004

According to the FBI, arson fires that destroyed a dozen homes and damaged more than two-dozen in an affluent Maryland development in suburban Washington, D.C., may have been the work of ecoterrorists who have struck in several cities in recent years nationwide.

FBI investigators are reportedly looking into all possible motives for the early Tuesday morning arson fires, which caused an estimated $10 million in damage to the $400,000 to $500,000 homes, which at the time were under construction. Authorities are suspicious of the fires’ origin due to the area recently being soaked by rain and that the fires were spread out to a degree.

Environmental groups have reportedly been critical of the Maryland development for years because it is situated next to a nature preserve.

A Sierra Club report had criticized the development as “quintessential sprawl” that threatens “fragile” wetlands and historical sites. Following the fires, the Sierra Club released a statement saying it “strongly condemns all acts of violence in the name of the environment.”

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