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American News Apr 22, 2022 9:26 PM EST

Environmental extremist pleads guilty to decades-old arson attacks in Oregon, California

Dibee and others affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front conspired to damage or destroy various commercial and government-owned properties, according to court documents.

Environmental extremist pleads guilty to decades-old arson attacks in Oregon, California
Mia Cathell The Post Millennial

Far-left violent extremist Joseph Mahmoud Dibee, 53, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to carrying out bombings, according to the Justice Department.

Dibee, a Pacific Northwest environmental extremist, arsonist, and former fugitive, pleaded guilty in two arson conspiracies targeting commercial and government-owned animal processing facilities in Oregon and California.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson and arson in the District of Oregon and conspiracy to commit arson in the Eastern District of California.

Dibee's plea resolves his pending criminal case in the Western District of Washington, according to the Department of Justice press release Friday.

According to court documents, beginning in October 1996 and continuing through December 2005, Dibee and at least 15 other individuals affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, "loosely affiliated" environmental extremist groups, knowingly conspired with one another to damage or destroy various commercial and government-owned properties, the DOJ said.

Dibee and his co-conspirators held meetings to plan arsons on targeted sites, conducted research and surveillance of the targets, and discussed plans using code words and code names. The group designed and constructed destructive devices that functioned as incendiary bombs to ignite fires and destroy targets.

During the "direct actions," the co-conspirators dressed in dark clothing and wore masks as disguises. Some acted as lookouts while others were responsible for placing, igniting or attempting to ignite the improvised incendiary devices.

Around the date of July 21, 1997, Dibee and other radical arsonists used incendiary devices to destroy the Cavel West Meat Packing Plant, a commercial slaughterhouse and meatpacking facility in Redmond, Oregon.

Several years later, in October 2001, Dibee and others attempted to destroy the Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse Corrals, a government-owned facility used to remove wild horses from public lands located near Litchfield, California. The group's attack on the facility caused the destruction of a barn and its contents.

Prior to the second incident, Dibee and others recruited co-conspirators and gathered supplies and fuel to make incendiary devices. The group of arsonists used Dibee's residence in Seattle to construct the devices and traveled from Seattle to Northern California in his tuck, according to the Department of Justice.

In 2006, after a FBI-led domestic terrorism investigation, a federal grand jury in Oregon indicted Dibee and 11 co-conspirators. Dibee and others were later indicted in the Eastern District of California and Western District of Washington.

The co-conspirators, together known as "The Family," were linked to over 40 criminal acts between 1995 and 2001 and caused over $45 million in damages.

Dibee fled the United States in December 2005. Then in late summer 2018, Cuban authorities arrested Dibee on an Interpol Red Notice. The Department of State including the US Embassy in Havana, as well as the Department of Homeland Security including the US Coast Guard and Immigration and Customs Enforcement assisted in returning Dibee to the United States.

The government will recommend Dibee receive a sentence of 87 months in federal prison. He will be sentenced on July 27 by US District Court Judge Ann Aiken in the District of Oregon. As part of a plea deal, Dibee has agreed to pay restitution to his victims as determined by the government and ordered by the court.

Dibee's case was investigated by the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The US Attorneys' Offices for the District of Oregon, Northern District of California, and Western District of Washington, and the National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.

Dibee's far-left comrade Josephine Sunshine Overaker is still wanted. The co-conspirator, an American citizen who is either 47- or 50-years-old, remains at large and is believed to have fled to Europe in late 2001.

Overaker faces 19 felony charges for her alleged role in the domestic terrorism cell, including conspiracy to commit arson and destruction of an energy facility, attempted arson, and arson in the District of Oregon, the Western District of Washington, and the District of Colorado. The FBI continues to offer a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to Overaker's arrest.

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