This study reviews the extent of attacks related to eco-terrorism from 1970 to 2012 to understand the development of this relatively new phenomenon in Canada, Japan and the United States. Furthermore, we conducted legal analysis to identify important legislation related to prevention and intervention of eco-terrorism. Time series analysis was then applied to data to examine the intervention effects of legislation on subsequent attacks across the three countries.
Eco-terrorism was listed as the most serious domestic threats by the FBI in 2005 (Carson et al. 2012). For example, the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) has caused an estimated $100 million in damage and “The Family” has committed an estimated $48 million worth of arson and vandalism from 1996 through 2001. On the other hand, there have been several legal acts passed targeting this special type of terrorism. Given the great extent of monetary loss resulted from eco-terrorism attacks, it is important to evaluate the deterrence effects of the corresponding legislation to understand if the legal acts have achieved their intended effects.