The arson plot in this episode closely resembles a true-life case. In March 2004, a California Institute of Technology student named William Cottrell was arrested for a string of arsons at four different SUV dealerships. Though the actual methods of arson most likely differed between this episode and Cottrell's case, there are some striking commonalities.
Cottrell allegedly torched 125 SUVs at those four dealerships. What makes this especially similar to this episode's plotline is that, when boasting about his actions to the Los Angeles Times, Cottrell falsely claimed himself to be member of the Earth Liberation Front.
Given the parallels between Caltech and "CalSci" and the actual ties between the show and Caltech, this is all certainly more than just coincidental.