, OTTAWA, July 17 – A Canadian newspaper has received a letter from the apparent perpetrators of a string of gas pipeline bomb attacks, threatening new violence unless gas company EnCana halts operations.
"Cease all your activities and remove all your installations. Return the land to what it was before you came… before things get a lot worse for you and your terrorist pals in the oil and gas business," the letter said.
The handwritten missive was sent to the Dawson Creek Daily News, a local newspaper in British Columbia, where EnCana’s pipelines have been blown up six times, including twice in the last month alone.
It offers a three-month "summer vacation" in which there would be no new attacks, but calls on EnCana to announce a halt to operations and begin removing its facilities from the area.
"You have five years to shut down and remove all the oil and gas facilities you have established over the last eight years in our territories…. Don’t delay!"
Pipelines owned by EnCana, the largest natural gas producer in North America, have been targeted in six separate bomb attacks that have caused infrastructure damage but no deaths or injuries.
The letter threatens that the attacks will worsen if the gas company doesn’t leave, though it suggests EnCana could "install green energy alternatives instead."
Police in a press release described the letter as "very concerning to investigators."
"Any act that directly threatens the lives of people living and working in the area is not minor. Make no mistake, the explosions that have occurred were extremely violent in nature and it is very dangerous to the local community," said police Sergeant Tim Shields.
"We have been very fortunate that nobody has been hurt or killed and our ultimate goal is to ensure the safety of our local residents and oil and gas workers."
Authorities have previously said that they believe the attacks, which they describe as "domestic terrorism," are the work of local residents who are familiar with the region.
Last year, the same local newspaper received a suspicious letter calling on energy companies to leave the area just before the first pipeline attack.
EnCana has offered a reward of 500,000 Canadian dollars for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the blasts.