A fire apparently aimed at sport utility vehicles, vilified as gas guzzlers and polluters, has engulfed a dealership in California, the state known for its love affair with the car.
SUVs in neighbouring dealerships in the suburb of West Covina, east of Los Angeles, were vandalised.
Spray-painted messages on the sides and bonnets of vehicles indicated that the Earth Liberation Front, a radical underground group that targets land development and other issues it deems harmful to the environment, was responsible.
Among the slogans were "ELF", "American Wastefulness", "terrorist", "gross polluter" and "Fat Lazy Americans."
ELF issued an unsigned email calling the SUV incidents "ELF actions".
SUVs have become the target of various religious, safety and environmental groups because they consume more fuel and are more likely to roll over than passenger cars.
During the past several months, groups such as the Detroit Project have launched television commercials aimed at convincing the public that SUVs pose a threat to national security by making the United States more dependent on foreign oil.
A spokesman for General Motors Corp, which makes the luxury Hummer H2 patterned after the Humvee military vehicle, said that fires defeat the overall purpose of improving the environment.
"There were far more pollutants released around Los Angeles from this fire than the torched trucks combined would have released from their exhausts over their lifetime," said Brian Akre, a GM spokesman.
The blaze at the Chevrolet dealership destroyed 20 vehicles and damaged 20 more. A separate blaze caused a warehouse roof to collapse.
Since 1999, ELF has claimed responsibility for millions of dollars worth of damage. It has admitted to attacks on a genetic engineering research project at Michigan State University, a McDonald's restaurant, SUVs at a Ford dealership, an oil company and a timber milling company.
The Greenies never cease to amaze me with their messed up logic.
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