Then what the heck *is* it?!?
Caroline Paul says that her brother's act of arson in burning a slaughterhouse, as part of the campaign by "The Family" and their Earth First! cohorts, is not terrorism.
This campaign included fires set to a police station, SUV dealerships, ski lodges, ranger stations, power substations... and these are only the ones that the nine caught have confessed to.
I took a graduate seminar in terrorism two semesters ago, and our standard definition of terrorism was: "Acts of force or violence and/or the threat of force or violence for political, religious, ideological or similar purposes, including the intention to influence any government and/or to put the public or any section of the public in fear."
Seems like burning down anything that you don't like is an intimidation technique.
ALF and ELF are terrorist organizations. Even if their goals are pure ("Save the planet" is a pretty noble goal, actually), their methods taint everything they do. I mean-- Hitler just wanted to create a greater, more prosperous Germany, and maybe breed a Master Race, right? Noble goal, and all that. (It hurts my head when I roll my eyes that hard.)
Nine to thirteen years is pretty dadgummed lax, in my opinion, for an honest-to-Gawd arson involved in terrorist attacks. Ms. Paul's brother should be thanking his lucky stars.