According to the FBI, terrorism in the name of animal rights is on the rise. Whether it’s the firebombing of a UC Santa Cruz researcher’s home or sending suspicious packages to a laboratory in Britain, there is an ongoing movement to intimidate and use violence against medical researchers who use animals in their work.
FOX News reports:
"There is an upswing," said Laura Eimiller, a FBI spokeswoman in Los Angeles. "What’s really concerning is the tactics that are being used. Previously it was non-violent, mostly harassment or vandalism. Now we’re seeing the increased use of incendiary devices to target individuals."
Over the past 18 months, there have been at least 39 criminal actions undertaken in the name of animal rights, according to data compiled by the Foundation for Biomedical Research, an advocacy group for researchers. That represents a significant rise from 2006 and 2007, when there were only 25 incidents.
Fighting this special brand of terrorism is notoriously tricky because there is no centralized network of animal rights radicals. The public face of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), one of the most “successful” terrorist groups, is just a website. Its members are vigilantes acting alone with one common goal: freeing all animals from their human “persecutors.” After an attack makes the news, the bombers or vandals typically will claim responsibility on behalf of the ALF or one of its clones.
Like other terrorists, the ALF and its supporters are not interested in compromise. To them, the life of a lab rat is worth more than the lives of the humans that medical research is intending to help. And as we’ve told the U.S. Congress, the animal-rights terrorism movement has plenty of above-ground help.
In 1999, a publication from ALF headquarters named some of its more prominent financial supporters. The benefactor list included nonprofit groups like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Fund for Animals, In Defense of Animals, and the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance, as well as individuals with high-ranking positions at those and other related groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
People should be outraged that “mainstream” charities are supporting the demolition of property and an ongoing threat to human lives. But these terrorists have little incentive to stop their path of destruction when prominent activists get a pass from the public. Activists like PETA vice president Bruce Friedrich, who once told an animal rights convention that “blowing stuff up and smashing windows” is “a great way to bring about animal liberation.”