Environmental extremist James Lee was shot and killed by police Wednesday evening after a four-hour hostage standoff at the Discovery Channel in Silver Spring, Md. The three hostages taken by Lee are safe and unharmed. The building is still a “crime scene,” and police are seraching for explosive devices.
Lee, 43, entered Discovery around 1p.m. with a handgun and “two boxes and two backpacks” of explosive devices strapped to his back and chest. He immediately took three men hostage — including one security guard — at gunpoint in the building’s lobby.
Snipers were sent to various buildings around the suburban Washington headquarters. After nearly four hours of hostage negotiations, the police saw Lee pull out his gun and threaten to kill one of the hostages. The police decided to use deadly force because they “believed the hostages lives were in danger.”
Lee’s extremist environmental manifesto was posted on his website “Save the Planet Protest.” He wrote that the hostages would not be released unless “Discovery Channel MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet.” Lee demanded that Discovery broadcast 11 specific environmental issues, including:
• “Have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn’s My Ishmael.”
• “Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution.”
• “Find solutions for Global Warming, Automotive pollution, International Trade, factory pollution, and the whole blasted human economy.”
• “Find ways so that people don’t build more housing pollution which destroys the environment to make way for more human filth!”
• “Find solutions so that people stop breeding as well as stopping using Oil in order to REVERSE Global warming and the destruction of the planet!”
James Lee’s MySpace Page
Acording to police, Lee “has a history of conflict with Discovery.” In 2008, he was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and littering (throwing money on the ground) while protesting at the network’s Silver Spring headquarters.
“We are running out of time to save this planet and the Discovery Channel is a big part of the problem, not the solution,” Lee posted on his website at the time.
Lee’s sister’s husband Daniel Leonard told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that Lee’s terrorism is a “desperate act of ‘I’m important, listen to me.’”
“You think he’s capable of killing?” Cavuto asked Leonard.
“Absolutely,” responded Leonard, his voice cracking.
A joint task force of local, state and federal law enforcement coordinated the hostage negotiations and the securing of Lee. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has not commented on the situation.
Napolitano warned last year that domestic terrorism was on the rise from “rightwing extremist activity in the United States.” Apparently, Napolitano was misguided in her directing federal agents to watch for individuals who are in “opposition to abortion or immigration,” instead of environmental, tree-huggers.