On Friday a grand jury in Suffolk County, Massachusetts indicted twelve animal rights activists on charges of attempted extortion and harassment. Those arrested were all members of SHAC (“Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty”), a violent special-interest subset of the FBI-certified domestic-terrorist Animal Liberation Front.

The Boston Herald reports that the defendants engaged in a pattern of harassment, directed at an insurance executive whose company was suspected of writing policies for Huntingdon Life Sciences. SHAC’s sole purpose is to shut Huntingdon down. According to the Herald, the dirty dozen vandalized his home, staged loud protest outside at all hours, and used megaphones to scream violent threats at him and his family.

The Reuters news wire reported last night that in addition to these despicable actions, the SHAC activists actually threatened to burn down their victim’s house (which he shares with his wife and 2-year-old son). Massachusetts prosecutors told Reuters that SHAC’s verbal threats included a repeated chant of “What goes around comes around / Burn his house to the ground.”

SHAC leader Kevin Jonas, himself a former Animal Liberation Front “spokesperson,” made headlines earlier this year when he defended his group’s violent actions in a Philadelphia newspaper. “I don’t feel any sympathy,” Jonas said, “for people in England or America who have had their cars tipped or torched.”

At this summer’s Animal Rights 2002 convention, Jonas was even more blunt. “Today’s terrorist is tomorrow’s freedom fighter,” he told applauding animal-rights zealots. “Why should any one of us feel that ‘it shouldn’t be me taking that brick and chucking it through that window?’” he implored. “You don’t need a 4-year degree to call in a bomb hoax.”