Ski areas warned of threats | SteamboatToday.com

Ski areas warned of threats

Internet announcement calls for acts of eco-terrorism

Melinda Dudley

— The National Ski Areas Association recently notified its members, including Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., about potential acts of eco-terrorism during a three-week period ending Nov. 5.

The threat, made on an anarchist Web site and referencing an infamous case of arson at Vail, calls for “mischievous mayhem” and an effort to “Give Capitalism the Creeps.”

The Steamboat Ski Area was alerted to the threat Wednesday, spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said. However, the Internet posting and associated flier don’t mention any specific targets or even that ski areas are a focus.

“Anytime we receive a veiled threat or call to action, we take it seriously,” said Special Agent Kathy Wright, public information officer for the FBI’s Denver field office. “But we don’t have any specific threats.”

Kasten said the ski area will continue its standard security practices.

“We’re keeping up with regular security measures, locking mountain gates at night, and security patrols,” Kasten said. “We’re asking our staff to just be aware of what’s going on around them.”

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The Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group considered domestic terrorists by the FBI, claimed responsibility for seven fires that caused $12 million in damage at Vail in October 1998. Eleven people connected to ELF and the Animal Liberation Front were indicted in 2006 connection with the Vail incidents.

The Lakewood-based National Ski Areas Association, a trade association for ski area owners and operators, notified its members this week of calls for “International Earth Nights” made via fliers and by an anonymously authored posting on Infoshop News, a self-described anarchist Web site.

The flier, which references the Vail attack in 1998, calls for “autonomous action” between Oct. 18 and Nov. 5, stating “through the spirit of mischievous mayhem and a diversity of tactics, it is our intention to reclaim this season in an ongoing and continuous effort to ‘Give Capitalism the Creeps.'” The flier further instructs to “Be creative, be safe, be smart, be effective, be dangerous” and “make this a Halloween to remember.”

Wright declined to comment on where the fliers have been found or distributed.