The Threat Next Door

The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) planted two bombs at a California McDonald’s early Monday morning. And on the same day, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, a counter-terrorism expert told Minnesota law enforcement officials that “the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) [are] more dangerous in Minnesota than Al-Qaida.” ELF “doesn’t care who they injure,” said Hennepin County (MN) Sheriff’s Captain Bill Chandler.

Chandler is hardly alone. “It’s not going to be al-Qaida that is going to hit; it is going to be the Earth Liberation Front or Earth First!” argues security consultant Robert Matthews, who until recently led an agriculture crimes task force in California. “Unfortunately,” Chandler’s business partner adds, “we think it is going to take some big environmental event before [farmers] wake up to the fact it is a real threat. These people are capable and motivated.”

You don’t have to tell that to the administration at Oregon State University. After ELF torched the office of an OSU professor who studies genetically enhanced trees, the school spent $100,000 for added security. That included new fencing and laboratory locks, remote cameras and sensing devices, and round-the-clock security.

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