We need to talk about eco-terrorism

The anarchist terrorist who wanted to kill 50 politicians was also a fervent environmentalist. This matters.

Fraser Myers

Fraser Myers
Deputy editor

Topics Politics Science & Tech UK

Jacob Graham, a 20-year-old student from Liverpool in the UK, wanted to murder at least 50 politicians. Any more would have been a ‘blessing’, he said. Earlier today, he was convicted in Manchester Crown Court of seven terror offences, including preparing terrorist materials and disseminating terrorist publications.

Although he was found not guilty of plotting a specific attack, his murderous intentions were not in any doubt. From 2022, he began to compile his own bomb-making manual, which he dedicated to ‘terrorists past and future’. He buried a stash of bomb-making chemicals in a woodland hideout. And he filmed over a hundred videos of himself, mainly testing explosives from his hideout or ranting from his bedroom about the ‘Judgement Day’ to come. In one video, he gets out a machete and says he has ‘so much carnage to commit’. His teddy bear can be seen on his bed in the background.

Graham is not the kind of terrorist we usually hear about in the media. He is not an Islamist, a white nationalist or an incel. No, he is an eco-warrior. Indeed, he is an avowed supporter of the Green Party. He describes himself as an ‘environmentalist’ who does not like the way that ‘corporations act and how they damage the Earth’. The court heard that he exchanged messages with like-minded folk on Discord and Telegram channels with names like Earth Militia, Total Earth Liberation and Neo-Luddite Action.

Most significant of all, Graham is known to have idolised Ted Kaczynski – better known as the Unabomber. This was the American domestic terrorist who, between 1978 and 1995, posted handmade bombs to people and companies that he considered to be enemies of the environment. He killed three people and injured 28.

Most of the media reporting mentions these facts about Graham’s case only in passing. Sky News’s write-up describes him primarily as a ‘left-wing anarchist’. The BBC’s reporting makes no mention of his environmentalism at all.

But Graham’s environmentalism is not something we can afford to overlook. After all, this is not the first time that humanity’s alleged destruction of the environment has motivated a terrorist to plot the destruction of human beings.

As recently as 2022, a self-described ‘eco-terrorist’ was convicted for planting a nail bomb in an Edinburgh park. Nikolaos Karvounakis, a former Greek national, was a supporter of Individualistas Tendiendo a lo Salvaje (Individualists Tending to the Wild), a fringe green group with origins in Mexico. Had the device detonated successfully, it would have caused carnage.

The mass murder of 23 people in El Paso, Texas in 2019 is mostly remembered as an act of white-supremacist violence. Anti-Hispanic racism was indeed a key motivator for killer Patrick Wood Crusius. But his manifesto was also littered with complaints about the state of the environment. Racist, conspiratorial rants about the ‘replacement’ of whites sat alongside green tirades about man’s ‘decimation’ of the Earth. Humans are ‘shamelessly overharvesting resources’, destroying ‘millions of acres of land’ and producing ‘thousands of tonnes of unnecessary plastic waste and electronic waste‘, he fumed. His proposed solution? To ‘decrease the number of people in America using resources’. To cull the human herd on behalf of the planet.

The racist who murdered 49 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand that same year was even more explicit in his environmental zealotry. In his manifesto, Brenton Tarrant criticised people’s ‘ignorance of environmental health’ and called for the creation of ‘an environmentally conscious and moral society’. He bemoaned today’s ‘ever-increasing industrialisation, urbanisation, industrial output and population increase’. He insisted he was not a Nazi, but rather an ‘eco-fascist’.

Now, no one here is saying that Jacob Graham or any other terrorist’s murderous plotting was inspired by the speeches of Caroline Lucas or the columns of George Monbiot. Graham alone is responsible for his actions. And there is obviously a world of difference between advocating a political viewpoint (even a cranky one) and expressing a desire to carry out mass murders.

Nevertheless, it is hardly surprising that the green movement would give vent to such violent misanthropy. After all, even mainstream environmentalists like to damn human beings as a stain on Mother Earth. As a pox or a plague on the planet. As a foul, fallen creature that deserves to be punished.

Greenism is an ideology that is anti-human to its core. If it did not directly inspire Jacob Graham to hate his fellow man enough to learn to make a bomb, then at the very least it will have provided him with an ideological justification for his hatred. That alone ought to worry us, given how ‘respectable’ such views have now become.

The misanthropy of green thinking really needs to be challenged. Lives might well depend on it.

Fraser Myers is deputy editor at spiked and host of the spiked podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @FraserMyers.

Picture by: Twitter.

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Topics Politics Science & Tech UK


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