Category Archives: Fires and Arson

April 24, 2022

Earth Liberation Front radical admits arson conspiracies

Pleads guilty to counts from cases in Oregon, California

On Earth Day 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a suspect affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front has admitted to arson and arson conspiracies in the states of Oregon and California.

Officials with the DOJ identified the defendant in the cases as “Pacific Northwest environmental extremist, arsonist and former fugitive” Joseph Mahmoud Dibee, 53.

He pleaded guilty for his role in two arson conspiracies targeting commercial and government-owned animal processing facilities in Oregon and California, authorities said.

Court documents charged that beginning in October 1996 and continuing through December 2005, “Dibee and at least 15 other individuals affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, loosely affiliated environmental extremist groups, knowingly conspired with one another to damage or destroy various commercial and government-owned properties.”

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April 22, 2022

Strange Trend of Food Processing Plant Fires Appears Across the US

At least sixteen fires have broken out at food processing plants, impacting the nation’s supply of beef and poultry

There has been an outbreak of fires in food processing facilities across the nation in the last six months as food prices soar and supply chains are stressed to their limits. 

The fires began showing up regularly in the news after a fire closed a Tyson Foods meat processing plant in Kansas. The location was a primary beef processing location for the company and the U.S. supply chain, providing about 6% of U.S. beef. 

After the fire, analysts began speculating that the impact could drive up market prices for meat nationwide. Dan Norcini, part of the beef and poultry trading markets, said the cattle market would likely “respond negatively” to news of the fire. He said the long-term impact would depend on how long the plant stays closed.

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September 7, 2021

Greece’s Summer of Fire and Anger (Video)

After a week of wildfires, VICE World News travelled to the island of Evia, Greece to meet local villagers that defied evacuation orders. With insufficient forces on the ground, volunteer firefighters took matters into their own hands and fought the fires themselves. They are angry at the mismanagement of the country’s fire services, a force that has long been underfunded and ill prepared to tackle the onslaught of the climate crisis.

June 22, 2021

Student charged with misdemeanor for residence hall fire in hate-crime hoax

A former Viterbo University student has been charged with one misdemeanor count of negligent handling of burning materials after police say she set a fire inside her dorm in April for “attention purposes.”

Victoria Unanka, if convicted, faces a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine or nine months in prison, or both, according to the criminal complaint.

Unanka, through her attorney, entered a not guilty plea at a court hearing on Wednesday, the La Crosse Tribune reports.

Police had arrested her on charges of arson and negligent handling of burning materials, but La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke told The College Fix via email on Thursday that he did not see arson in this case.

“Arson is for burning a structure, this looks more like a dangerous situation to get attention [by] setting fire to a garbage can,” he said via email.

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April 12, 2021

WATCH: Antifa Sets Portland ICE Building on Fire with Officers Trapped Inside

Antifa rioters in Portland, Oregon, set a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building on fire while agents remained trapped behind blocked doors. The fire began after rioters smashed windows on the upper floors of the building.

Antifa continued its months-long siege of the ICE facility in Portland on Saturday night. Videos posted on Twitter show the violence perpetrated by the Antifa rioters as they smashed windows and eventually set a fire on the front of the building while ICE officers remained trapped behind blocked doors.

“They then set it on fire while federal officers were inside,” independent journalist Andy Ngo tweeted. “Antifa also obscured the security cameras before launching the arson attack.”

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April 7, 2021

California’s Pacific Gas & Electric charged in 2019 wildfire (Video)

It’s the latest in a series of similar problems for the utility, which was also charged after another devastating fire destroyed much of the Sierra foothills community of Paradise in 2018 in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s recorded history.

A California prosecutor filed 33 criminal charges Tuesday against the troubled Pacific Gas & Electric for a 2019 wildfire officials blamed on the utility.

The Sonoma County district attorney charged the utility with felony and misdemeanor counts in the October 2019 Kincade Fire north of San Francisco. The blaze burned more than 120 square miles and destroyed 374 buildings.

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December 27, 2020

4 Black Lives Matter Activists Charged With Firebombing Police Vehicles

Charging documents said that witnesses had identified 22-year-old Renea Goddard, 27-year-old Emily Nowlin, and 24-year-old Aline Espinosa-Villegas as those responsible for the incident.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas announced on Dec. 17 that four arrests had been made in the firebombings of police vehicles in Little Rock during the Jacob Blake protests in August.

“Today’s arrests send a message that violence targeted toward law enforcement will not be tolerated,” U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland said in a press release on Dec. 17.

“Breaking into a police compound and firebombing a police vehicle with a homemade explosive device is clearly not a peaceful protest,” Hiland continued.

“Those who would target law enforcement with violent acts will not do so in the Eastern District of Arkansas without the full resources of the federal government being deployed to assist our state and local partners in bringing those responsible to justice. They will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Hiland said.

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November 4, 2019

Crimewave engulfs UK churches and graveyards with 19 offences including theft, arson and drug trafficking recorded every day

Theft, arson and drug trafficking among 19,493 crimes in churches since 2017. There were 2,490 cases of violence, 4,162 of criminal damage, 7,206 thefts,

A crime is committed in a church or graveyard every 70 minutes in Britain, shocking new figures reveal.

Theft, arson and drug trafficking are among the 19,493 crimes recorded on church property in the UK since January 2017 – a rate of 19 a day nationwide.

In total, the range of crimes being committed on church property includes 2,490 cases of violence, 4,162 of criminal damage and 7,206 thefts, according to figures released by 40 of the 45 UK police forces.

Numerous thefts from churches included silverware items, oil stocks, public address systems and war medals from a veterans’ memorial.

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October 14, 2019

PG&E’s Big Blackout Is Only the Beginning (Video)

California utilities are poised to continue shutting off power to limit liabilities and prevent further wildfire deaths.

PG&E Corp.’s decision to shut off power to more than two million Californians this week represents a new reality: It now plans to pull the plug as a desperation measure whenever its equipment threatens to spark destructive and potentially deadly wildfires.

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December 13, 2017

Officials: L.A. Fire Caused by Homeless People Cooking near 405 Freeway

Officials said Tuesday afternoon that the Skirball fire was likely caused by homeless people cooking in an encampment near the 405 Freeway, which was shut down by the blaze last Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Times, quoting Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Peter Sanders, said that the fire originated in “a camp along Sepulveda Boulevard where it passes under the 405 Freeway.”

The Times added:

Investigators who inspected the encampment found evidence that people had been cooking and sleeping in the area but did not find anyone there, Sanders said. The department has no suspects, he said.

Officials said the size of the encampment where the blaze started was hard to determine because the area was burned.

“By the time investigators got there everyone was gone,” Peter Sanders, the Los Angeles Fire Department communications director, said.

Almost all the physical evidence at the scene was consumed by the blaze, he added. Investigators were able to eliminate arson as a cause based on was left of the encampment and place of origin of the flames, he added.

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