Environmental extremists are not active in New Jersey because grassroots organizations throughout the State take an active role in environmental issues, reducing the perceived need for violent and criminal activity. Environmental agencies at the State and federal levels conduct aggressive oversight and prosecutions of environmental extremists, contributing to the low threat level. There have been no documented violent incidents involving environmental extremists in New Jersey since 1998.
In 2017, domestic terrorists were responsible for a total of 45 attacks, disrupted plots, threats of violence, and instances of weapons stockpiling, including four incidents in New Jersey. NJOHSP defines domestic terrorism as violence committed by individuals or groups—including race-based, single-issue, anti-government, and religious extremist ideologies—associated primarily with US-based movements.
Between January 2015 and May 1, 2017, there were 81 domestic terrorist attacks, disrupted plots, threats of violence, and weapons stockpiling by individuals with a radical political or social agenda who lack direction or influence from foreign terrorist organizations. These infographics compare different types of extremists, identify notable incidents, and highlight the targets and methods used by domestic terrorists with different ideologies.
Last week, an “anonymous environmental activist collective” defaced one of the President’s private golf courses in Rancho Palos Verde, California, claiming offense with the Trump Administration’s perceived “disregard” for the environment and threatening further action. This act, which caused roughly $20,000 in damages, is the first time a US golf course affiliated with the President has been targeted; other Trump properties have been vandalized in the past.
The proposed Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines pose little impact to New Jersey due to the State’s robust, independent infrastructure and the lack of credible threats from anarchist or environmental extremist groups. The Dakota Access Pipeline will transport crude oil from the Bakken shale oil fields in northwest North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois, where it will travel to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico and the Midwest. The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed project awaiting US State Department approval, which will provide a more direct route to transport crude oil from Alberta to Nebraska.
Environmental rights extremists view manmade threats to the environment as so severe that violence and property damage are justified to prevent further destruction. Groups such as the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and Earth First! adopt a “by any means necessary” approach, although violent tactics such as arson are considered a last resort. ELF considers acts of property destruction as “nonviolent” because no human beings or animals are directly targeted.