Some animal rights and environmental extremists have moved from the fringe to violence.

Such groups as the so-called “Earth Liberation Front” (ELF) have gone beyond the ballot box and political rhetoric to express their opinions through criminal acts.

ELF claimed responsibility for torching houses in Michigan, reports the Associated Press.

$400,000 dollars in damage was the end result of ELF’s latest hit and run guerrilla warfare. And this is not the first time they have committed arson to make a political point.

But even more troubling is the possibility that ELF may be recruiting minor children.

Authorities in California picked up a juvenile runaway, she had been traveling with an ELF group.

The 16-year-old girl was ultimately booked, reports the Napa Valley Register.

It seems that ELF is willing to work with minor children without parental consent.

The organization might be recruiting through the Internet.

Web surfers can see photos of recent fires they claim responsibility for on the ELF official website.

Some families say such extremist groups have “brainwashed” their children, not unlike destructive cults.

Groups like ELF are one more reason for parents to closely monitor the Internet use of their minor children.

Four environmental extremists have been arrested for arson in connection to acts of domestic terrorism, reports KATU TV.

At least one of those charged has ties to the well-known radical group called “Earth Liberation Front” (ELF).

ELF has repeatedly been linked to acts of criminal violence, including a fire in Vail Colorado that remains the most destructive act of eco-terrorism in US history.

Charged but still free, is Tre Arrow. Once a congressional candidate, he is now a fugitive.

Authorities acted upon information provided by a friend of one of the suspects.

It seems that radicals like Arrow are unwilling to accept the democratic process. Rather than run for office on an environmental platform and accept the results, they apparently prefer bombs to the ballot box.

Some former members of radical groups like ELF say they are similar to “cults.” That is, members often appear to be “brainwashed” through intensive indoctrination programs sponsored by such groups.

Radical environmental groups like ELF seem to effectively recruit from amongst initially mainstream activists, who they then draw to the fringe and mold to their mindset.

Ironically, ELF claims it wants to “save the planet,” but in practice is destroying property and terrorizing citizens. Their philosophy, not unlike destructive cults, appears to be “the end justifies the means.”

As the United States conducts a “War on Terror” it is important to fight all terrorists, both foreign and domestic. A group like ELF is to environmentalism what Osama bin-Laden is to mainstream Islam. It seems they simply use ecological concern as a façade for violence.