1999 Terrorism in the United States Report

The year 1999 was marked by an increasing focus on the threat of terrorism in the United States. A year of mounting concern over the threat of millennial- related violence potentially being planned by domestic extremists ended with the prevention of an apparent international plot to attack sites in the United States during Millennium celebrations. Year-end concerns in the United States mirrored concerns worldwide, as security forces in Jordan and Pakistan arrest- ed extremists suspected of plotting millennial attacks in those countries and as security safeguards were enhanced at New Year’s celebrations in nations around the world.

Despite the fears of international plots in the United States, 1999 was, in fact, characterized by a sharp increase in domestic terrorism, driven by a troubling upswing in activity carried out by animal rights and environmental extremists. These special interest or single issue terrorists committed eight of the ten terrorist incidents recorded in the United States during the calendar year (the remaining two incidents were carried out by rogue right-wing extremists). The ten incidents recorded in 1999 doubled the number of incidents recorded the previous year. In addition, two suspected terrorist incidents were recorded in 1999 (no suspected terrorist incidents were recorded in 1998) and seven terrorist plots were prevented by law enforcement (compared with 12 in 1998). For the sixth consecutive year, there were no successful acts of international terrorism perpetrated in the United States in 1999.

Six terrorist incidents occurring in the United States in 1999 were attributed to an extremist movement known as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Combined, these attacks resulted in financial damages (primarily to medical research facilities) totaling more than three million dollars. Two acts of terrorism were attributed to a distinct, but increasingly related, movement known as the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). These attacks resulted in the complete destruction of an 8,000-square-foot office complex in Monmouth, Oregon, and one million dollars in damage to the Agricultural Hall at Michigan State University in East Lansing. Each of these ALF/ELF attacks remained under investigation at year’s end. Despite the significant property damage resulting from the attacks, none of these incidents resulted in human casualties (two of the ALF attacks led to the deaths of lab animals).

FBI Terrorism in the United States 1999 Report

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