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Oregon Authorities Praise Arrest of Accused Environmental Terrorist

The US Attorney's Office says that domestic terrorism suspect Joseph Dibee has been on the run for 12 years.

Posted: Aug 10, 2018 2:32 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — After 12 years on the run, authorities say that accused domestic terrorist Joseph Mahmoud Dibee has been arrested abroad and will be extradited to the US to face charges in multiple states, including Oregon.

Now 50 years old, Seattle-native Joseph Dibee allegedly participated in an environmentally-motivated terrorist group with ties to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) or the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Dibee is suspected in crimes that took place in Oregon, California and Washington state.

“More than two decades ago, a loosely affiliated group of environmental extremists set out to express their views using force, violence, sabotage, mass destruction, intimidation, and coercion,” said U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams. “Thankfully no innocent lives were taken by these senseless acts...Dibee will now, as many of his co-conspirators have before, face the consequences of his actions. Using violent means to express one’s views will never be tolerated nor forgotten. We will bring every last person responsible for these crimes to justice.”

An American citizen, Dibbee is charged in the District of Oregon with one count of conspiracy to commit arson, one count of conspiracy to commit arson and destruction of an energy facility, and one count of arson. He also faces one count each of conspiracy to commit arson, possession of an unregistered firearm, and possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence in the Western District of Washington and one count each of conspiracy to commit arson, arson of a government building, and possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence in the Eastern District of California.

The US Attorney's Office says that Dibee will make an initial appearance in federal court on Friday before a federal magistrate judge in the District of Oregon. The government will seek his continued detention.

According to court documents, federal authorities learned Dibee was traveling through Central America on his way to Russia with a planned stop in Cuba. With the assistance of the Cuban authorities, the FBI arranged for Dibee's detention before he boarded a plane bound for Russia—with the intent of returning him to the US to stand trial. Dibee fled the United States in December 2005.

In 2006, a federal grand jury in Oregon indicted Dibee and 11 co-conspirators as part of "Operation BACKFIRE"—a long-running FBI domestic terrorism investigation. The US Attorney's Office claims that the conspirators, known as “The Family,” have been linked to more than 40 criminal acts ranging from vandalism to arson between 1995 and 2001, causing more than $45 million in damages.

Authorities are still looking for one fugitive from Operation BACKFIRE—Josephine Sunshine Overaker, an American citizen believed to be either 43 or 46 years old, fled to Europe in late 2001. Overaker faces 19 felony charges. The US Attorney's Office says that Overaker speaks fluent Spanish and may seek employment as a firefighter, midwife, sheep tender, or masseuse. The FBI continues to offer a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to her arrest.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 22613

Reported Deaths: 385
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah5186101
Washington325827
Marion309073
Umatilla239832
Clackamas162749
Malheur86915
Deschutes62711
Lane6154
Jackson5362
Yamhill50213
Lincoln4319
Union3972
Jefferson3964
Morrow3933
Polk35012
Linn31511
Hood River2150
Klamath2062
Wasco1993
Benton1826
Douglas1591
Josephine1362
Columbia1031
Coos930
Clatsop880
Baker520
Crook511
Tillamook350
Lake320
Wallowa201
Curry170
Sherman160
Harney110
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 613101

Reported Deaths: 11148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2188315215
Riverside45662881
Orange42854789
San Bernardino39374561
San Diego34065622
Kern25888204
Fresno19157203
San Joaquin14651261
Alameda14558219
Santa Clara13865208
Sacramento13615199
Tulare12105205
Stanislaus11953195
Contra Costa10756152
Imperial10035257
Ventura909095
San Francisco805369
Santa Barbara727477
San Mateo6803126
Merced677789
Monterey589041
Marin567482
Kings524364
Solano459641
Sonoma406351
Madera292447
Placer254327
San Luis Obispo243918
Yolo196646
Santa Cruz13716
Butte137012
Napa120611
Sutter10917
El Dorado8272
San Benito8154
Yuba7404
Lassen6950
Mendocino52910
Shasta48810
Glenn4363
Colusa4095
Nevada3621
Tehama3121
Humboldt3094
Lake2682
Amador20811
Calaveras1741
Mono1601
Tuolumne1602
Inyo1275
Siskiyou1110
Del Norte1060
Mariposa632
Plumas390
Trinity80
Sierra60
Modoc50
Alpine20
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