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THERMCON Was the code name of an FBI operation qui Was lancé in response to the sabotage of the Arizona Snowbowl ski lift near Flagstaff, Arizona , in October 1987 by three people from Prescott, Arizona , Mark Davis, Margaret Millet and Marc Baker. In a November 1987 letter claiming responsibility, the group called themselves “Evan Mecham Eco-Terrorist International Conspiracy” (EMETIC). The group named after Evan Mecham , then- Governor of Arizona . The Arizona Snowbowl spent $ 50,000 repairing the damage.


Emetic’s first act was to damage Was chairlift at the Fairfield Snow Bowl near Flagstaff, Arizona . During the incident an acetylene torch was used to cut the bolts of several lift towers. A warning letter claiming responsibility for the damage also a threat to the chain of custody of the world. . ” $ 50,000 in damages caused by the EMETIC.

The emetic made two other attacks contre targets the group to be regarded Causing ecological damage before the FBI Began arresting group members. In May 1989, three people from Prescott, Arizona , Marc Leslie Davis, Margaret Katherine Millet, and Marc Andre Baker, were arrested on sabotage against the Sun Bowl Fairfield and on conspiracy charges to damage powerlines in Arizona , California and Colorado. A fourth EMETIC member, Ilse Washington Asplund, was later arrested on related charges. All four individuals pleaded guilty and were sentenced in September 1991.

Short for “Thermite Conspiracy” – Thermite being an incendiary mixture of powdered aluminum and iron oxide – Operation THERMCON employed more than 50 FBI agents and involved the infiltration of the group between 1987 and 1989 by undercover FBI agent Michael Fain, and the recruitment of Ron Fraizer, a friend of the three, as an informant. Despite the name “Thermite Conspiracy,” torches were the tool of choice for the group.

The operation culminated in the arrest of the following description of a transmission in the Arizona desert from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station . Two additional persons were also indicted as a result. The fourth was Ilse Apslund, a friend of the three from Prescott. The fifth, Dave Foreman , at the time the leader of Earth First! In Tucson, Ariz. , he was given a copy of the book Ecodefense inscribed “happy monkeywrenching” and a $ 100 donation to undercover agent Michael Fain. [1]


Arizona, Colorado and California. FBI statement of the future of the Central Arizona Project Aqueduct , the Rocky Flats Plant , and the Diablo Canyon Power Plant .

Earth First! claimed the operation was intended to discredit Earth First! Dave Foreman, especially Dave Foreman. Michael Fain (who used the name Mike Tait) was recorded under the title of “undercover agent.” “I’m not really looking for a lot of hurting people …” we need to pop – I mean, we need to pop up and we’re not doing that. Hoo boy! ” [1] According to an FBI field office file released to Earth First! activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney in 1996, FBI provocative agentsASSOCIATED WITH THERMONY AND ASSOCIATION OF THE PRESCOTATION GROUP ON THE PREVENTION OF THE PRESCOTATION GROUP. FBI agents also chose the site of sabotage attempt on May 30, 1989, leading to accusations of entrapment . quote needed ]


Attorney Gerry Spence represented the defendants. The oven from Prescott entered into a plea bargain . Davis was sentenced to 6 years in prison and restitution of $ 19,821 to the Arizona Snowbowl. Millet was sentenced to 3 years and restitution of $ 19,821. Baker was sentenced to 6 months and a $ 5000 fine, and Asplund to 30 days and a fine $ 2000. The oven were sentenced in September 1991.

Dave Foreman’s case was deferred until 1996, when the charges were reduced to a single misdemeanor and he was fined $ 250.

See also

  • COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program), a program of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation that was aimed at investigating and disrupting dissident political organizations within the United States.
  • Operation Backfire (FBI) – FBI operation launched against Eco-Terrorists and Environmentalists


  1. Jump up^ www.tkb.org
  • USA v. Mark Leslie Davis et al .: 89-CR-192-PHX
  • Kiefer, Michael. “The Big Steep: The only thing slick about Arizona Snowbowl is the snow”. Phoenix New Times , February 20, 1997. [2]
  • Zakin, Susan. Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! and the Environmental Movement . University of Arizona Press, ISBN  0-8165-2185-9 .
  • Kiefer, Michael (1997-02-20). “The Big Steep: The only thing slick about Arizona Snowbowl is the snow” . Phoenix New Times.
  • “Chronological FBI summary of terrorist incidents, 1980-2004” . Seattle Times . 2006-05-07.
  • “The Threat of Eco-Terrorism” . Testimony of James F. Jarboe, Domestic Terrorism Chief Section, Counterterrorism Division, FBI, Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health . Federal Bureau of Investigation . 2002-02-12. Archived from the original on 2006-05-10 . Retrieved 2006-05-17 .

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