Tags: 'Animal | Rights' | Terrorists | Brag | Criminal | 'Achievements'

'Animal Rights' Terrorists Brag of Criminal 'Achievements'

Tuesday, 22 January 2002 12:00 AM

Animal Liberation Front (ALF) says individuals and groups who oppose the "animal abuse industry" carried out 137 "direct illegal actions" in North America in 2001. Those crimes include:

This list does not include crimes included in the report taken "in defense of the Earth and all her inhabitants" such as spiking trees in national forests to prevent logging, or burning genetically-modified crops.

The group claims its supporters "rescued" 3,000 minks, 1,047 ducks, 469 chickens, 200 horses, 62 pigeons, 50 geese, 44 beagles, 28 rabbits, 12 perch, 10 ferrets, two hermit crabs and one snail in 2001.

But Don McKinney, a spokesman for Coulston Foundation, says such attacks do much more harm than good to the animals the activists are trying to "liberate."

"They supposedly are wanting to make life better for these animals," McKinney noted. "But, to date, all they've done is cost the people who have to take care of the animals hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars."

Coulston is a not-for-profit biomedical research facility accredited by the College of American Pathologists. The experiments it performs on chimpanzees are among the final steps in confirming the safety of new vaccines for human use.

McKinney feels the activists haven't fully considered the consequences of their actions.

"The majority of these [stolen] animals, particularly the minks and laboratory mice, die from exposure, starvation. They get eaten by predators," he explained. "All they've really done is just sign the death warrant for the majority of these animals."

Despite their methodology and the amount of property stolen, damaged, or destroyed, ALF insists it is nonviolent, and not a terrorist group.

"One simply cannot compare the events of Sept. 11 to the illegal direct actions taken by underground groups and individuals for animal and earth liberation," wrote ALF spokesman David Barbarash in a section of the report titled "September 11, 2001."

"To compare this to the actions of people who work to save animal lives and our planet while explicitly not using violent means is," he said, "frankly, ridiculous."

But Jackie Calnan, president of Americans for Medical Progress, disagrees.

"I reject the ALF claim that they are a nonviolent group," Calnan said. "Simply by setting a fire, they are putting lives in danger ... they put firefighters at risk. They put first responders at risk."

Coulston Foundation was the victim of one of the arsons listed in the ALF report. The Sept. 20 firebombing of a maintenance building at Coulston's White Sands Research Center in Alamogordo, N.M., was the "most damage inflicted by the ALF in 2001." The blaze caused an estimated $1 million damage.

"These people have run such a horrible reign of terror for so long that you have scientists who no longer want to participate in the process," McKinney said, "because they are in fear for their reputations, for their families, for their friends, for their lives."

Coulston's employees do not want any information about them released, he explained, for fear of reprisals by ecoterrorists.

Calnan says online activities by "animal rights" groups also have the scientific community "very concerned."

"Scientists are targeted very specifically, their home addresses, pictures, details of their family life and such," are listed on some Web sites, she explained. "On more mainstream animal rights sites, we're seeing a rhetoric of hatred ... very vicious language that is coming out now about scientists who work with animals in research."

The third element Calnan described is the listing of instructions on how to construct explosive and incendiary devices on the Web sites of so-called underground "animal rights" groups.

CNSNews.com located and downloaded such instructions from one of the Web sites Calnan described, and confirmed that the site is maintained by an "animal rights" group. The URL for that site has been omitted from this story in the interest of safety.

For its part, ALF seems to be unconcerned with the ability of law enforcement to stop its admittedly criminal actions. The group deems new anti-terrorism laws, passed in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, as virtually useless against "animal rights" activity.

"The impacts from all these new laws will, contrary to their stated intended purpose, not stem the flow of economic sabotage actions or animals being liberated," the ALF report claims. "Activists involved with underground groups like ALF and ELF [Earth Liberation Front] will not be affected by these laws, or any attempts by law enforcement to shut them down."

Calnan says that bravado is perhaps the greatest reason for scientists involved in legitimate animal research to be wary.

"Our concern is that the combustion of these elements may influence some individuals," Calnan said, "that individual scientists may be targeted, and we're concerned that it is just a matter of time before there is some physical injury."

Calls to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday for comment on this story were not returned.

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Animal Liberation Front (ALF) says individuals and groups who oppose the animal abuse industry carried out 137 direct illegal actions in North America in 2001. Those crimes include: This list does not include crimes included in the report taken in defense of the Earth...
'Animal,Rights',Terrorists,Brag,Criminal,'Achievements'
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2002-00-22
Tuesday, 22 January 2002 12:00 AM
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