Joseph Mahmoud Dibee was arrested in Cuba last week before boarding a plane to Russia and extradited back to the United States to stand trial for eco-terrorism charges that date back almost 20 years. According to KFSM out of Portland, Oregon, Dibee stands accused of federal arson and conspiracy charges in Portland, Oregon and in other jurisdictions in the western United States.
Prosecutors state that around the late 1990’s or early 21st century, Dibee particpated in a number of animal rights and environmental activists in setting fires around the western United States. Specifically, Dibee participated in an Earth Liberation Front cell known as The Family who are connected to more than 40 criminal acts conducted over a six-year period. The group began their activities in 1995 that caused more than $45 million in damage and one of their activists was the subject of the movie If A Tree Falls.
Among the facilities Dibee’s group targeted for destruction were:
A] horticulture center at the University of Washington; a federally owned wild horse corral in Susanville, California; and a horse slaughterhouse in Redmond, Oregon, among other properties.
Investigators said Dibee participated in the Susanville and Redmond fires, as well as one at a U.S. Department of Agriculture facility in Olympia, Washington.
Dibee fled the United States during 2005 and another suspect, Josephine Sunshine Overaker, who fled to Europe in 2001 still remains at large. It is good that Dibee has been captured and will stand trial for the crimes he is accused of. He should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Hopefully, his arrest will be an example to deter future potential eco-terrorists.