Texas Man in Custody on Federal Arson Charges With Possible Eco-Terrorism Link

A Texas man was arrested this week on federal charges stemming from an arson at a construction site that may have ties to eco-terrorism, according to a criminal complaint.

Former California resident Stephen James Murphy was taken into custody at his home in Arlington, Texas, Wednesday, said FBI Los Angeles director Keith Bolcar in a release about the arrest.

Murphy was named in a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles charging him with the 2006 attempted arson of unfinished townhouses in Pasadena, Calif., according to Bolcar.

On Sept. 19, 2006, the Pasadena Fire Department was called to the townhouse construction site after a "crude incendiary device" made out of cigarettes was discovered there, according to the complaint. The device failed to go off.

Construction workers couldn't start one of the tractors and noticed a message written in marker on the side that read, "ANOTHER TRACTOR DECOMMISSIONED BY THE E.L.F." — a reference to the Earth Liberation Front, an environmental extremist group.

The investigation later revealed that the ignition system of the tractor had been tampered with, according to the complaint.

Murphy was recently linked to DNA evidence collected at the scene from the cigarettes, the FBI said.