A new report indicates that on November 9, 2019, the eco-terrorist organization “Individualists Tending Toward the Wild-USA Natures Wrath” (ITS) released a communique claiming they murdered Tech executives Tushar Atre and Erin Valenti. The communique, released on the anarchist website ‘Maldición Eco-extremista’, reads in part:
“Wishing death to all of civilization, our group of extremists happily murdered two Tech executives in the West Coast, Tushar Atre and Erin Valenti. We conducted the killings for no other reason than the symbolism of seeing two flimsy appendages of the technoindustrial system laying first in agony, and then motionless before us.”
According to mainstream news sources, three suspects in the case of Tushar Atre were captured on video around 3:00 a.m. on October 1, 2019. Atre was CEO of AtreNet, a web marketing and design company and had recently become involved with cannabis manufacturing. Reports reveal Atre was kidnapped from his home located on the 3000 block of Pleasure Point Drive. Santa Cruz County Sherriff’s Office revealed on October 2, 2019, they found Atre’s deceased body and car. Police released a video of three individuals they believed to be suspects in the murder of Atre. One of the suspects was observed carrying a rifle and another was carrying a duffel bag.
According to mainstream news sources, Erin Valenti’s body was found on October 12, 2019, in San Jose, California. Valenti was the CEO of Tinker Ventures, an app and website development firm. Reports indicate she was driving from Palo Alto, California, to San Jose, California, in order to catch a flight, but she never arrived on the flight. Police located her body in the back seat of a car she rented on a residential street. A report indicates that on October 7, 2019, family of Valenti received an odd phone call from her, in which she made the statement “it’s all a game, we’re in the matrix” before hastily getting off the phone because she was about to miss a flight.
The full communique of ITS reads:
Analysis: To be clear, at this point it remains impossible to verify the validity of the claim made on the anarchist website ‘Maldición Eco-extremista’. ITS began in Mexico in 2011, releasing its first communique claiming an attack on a nanotechnology research scientist. In 2017, ITS claimed the murder of Lesvy Berlin Rivera Osorio and two hikers in Mexico. ITS claimed “every human being merits extinction” in their statement about Rivera Osorio’s murder claim. ITS essentially opposes any civilization and ITS claims the hikers were killed simply for being in the forest. It is entirely possible ITS released this most recent claims in order to invoke fear. No evidence has been released yet to indicate individuals associated with ITS were involved in the recent deaths and the 2017 murders.
Many anarchists and activists outlets openly shun and denounce ITS’s tactics, not wanting to advocate murder. That noted, if indeed the most recent attacks and the attacks in 2017 were in some way connected to ITS, it indicates an extreme level of violence most eco activists claim never happens as part of their movement. While this level of violence is denounced by mainstream activism, this action may indicate there are some unstable individuals willing to commit extreme violence on behalf of the movement.
In addition, since activists outlets maintain some editorial control over what communiques they publish, it is possible they are not posting the more extreme claims of their movement. While the claim has been made that eco-extremist movement has never killed anyone, it remains possible that most outlets may not publish such claims in order to argue that their movement does not hurt or injure, but only engages in property damage.
The anarchist website ‘Maldición Eco-extremista’ appears to not filter information they receive. The website notes, (translated from Spanish):
“ME in no case validates the actions of violent groups. Our work is merely to study to make visible the different problems in which our planet is. Everything corresponding to pronouncements of violent groups against civilization is received in our contact emails.”
Unless further details about the recent murders are released to demonstrate ITS was not involved, there is unlikely to be clarity concerning their involvement. In addition, the murders in 2017 in Mexico and the recent deaths of the tech CEOs were widely reported, so it is possible ITS is simply utilizing the claim of murders to invoke fear and had nothing to do with the crimes.
Posted Jan. 20, 2020
By Cody Kantner, Director of Risk and Threat Intelligence