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U.S. charges 4 in 'ecoterror' arson attack

WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- A federal prosecutor in California has charged four people with arson and explosives offences dating back to 2001, accusing them of being an eco-terrorist cell.

An indictment Wednesday from U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott charges Joseph Dibee, 38, Rebecca Rubin, 32, Darren Thurston, 36, and Justin Solondz, 26, with a partially bungled arson attack on federal government property -- a facility in Susanville, Calif., known as the Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Corrals.

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In September and October 2001, according to the indictment, the four planted firebombs at the facility owned by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management, which housed wild horses and burros rounded up from federal land.

Only one of the bombs went off, destroying a barn.

Dibee, Rubin and Thurston already face charges in Oregon, where Dibee is accused of burning down a slaughterhouse in Redmond and where Thurston is already in custody. The other three are fugitives.

"Those who would commit acts of terror, such as arson, in the name of the Earth Liberation Front, and the Animal Liberation Front should be on notice: Federal law enforcement will do everything in its capacity to track you down and hold you accountable for your dangerous behavior," said Scott in a statement.

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The indictment brings to 11 the total number of such defendants charged in three separate cases brought by Scott's office over the past year.

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