If they wanted attention, they surely have it now. The violent activist group known as “Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty” (SHAC) is a special-interest subset of an FBI-certified “terrorist group” called the
Animal Liberation Front (ALF).
SHAC is singularly dedicated to destroying a medical research company that uses laboratory animals in its search for clues to curing breast cancer and Parkinson’s Disease.

Last week the group detonated military smoke bombs in downtown Seattle office buildings. In response, our director of research wrote a guest column in the Seattle Times, suggesting a connection between such terrorist acts and a recent animal rights convention held in Northern Virginia. SHAC’s membership uses the Internet’s built-in anonymity to foment violence; a few days before the Seattle attack, one budding thug posted a threatening message on an Internet bulletin board using the screen alias “If eating meat doesn’t kill you, I will!”

The SHAC web site claims “credit” for violent crimes and grand theft, and even provides identifying information — height, weight, license plate number, dog’s name, spouse’s work habits, etc. — on targeted executives, in the hope that activists will take matters into their own hands.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has had enough. In a lead editorial, the Inquirer rails against “criminals” who “say they stand for less violence” but “end up using it.” And discussing SHAC’s smoke-bomb attack on Seattle, editors at the Everett (WA) Herald opined on Monday that “these domestic terrorists preyed on the vulnerability of innocent people, leaving us to wonder — what were they thinking?”

The Herald need look no further than the “Animal Rights 2002” conference, where SHAC leader Kevin Jonas (himself a former ALF “spokesperson”) advised hundreds of activists that “you don’t need a 4-year degree to call in a bomb hoax.” In Jonas’ opinion, “the animal rights movement is strong,” and “it’s time to start flexing our muscles.”