April 16, 2003
The publicity-seeking hi-jinks of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are tame compared to animal rights extremists, such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and its sister organization, the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), say critics in the restaurant industry (a frequent target of their ire).
A few days into the Iraq war, ALF released a report of domestic terrorism committed by ALF and ELF in 2002, claiming ''100 illegal direct actions'' against businesses, government agencies and universities.
- Specifically, ALF claims responsibility for 48 such actions: 28 acts of vandalism, 8 illegal animal releases, 4 instances of food tampering, 3 thefts of documents and 3 arsons.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation calls ALF and ELF ''a serious terrorist threat'' within the United States.
- ALF and others have torched medical research labs, severed delivery truck brake lines and planted incendiary devices at fast-food restaurants.
Despite the threat posed by ELF, in February, California State University, Fresno invited ALF and ELF leaders to participate in a conference on ''revolutionary environmentalism.''
The FBI has issued an alert to law enforcement agencies to watch for possible criminal activity by "animal rights extremists" during the World Week for Animals in Laboratories protest scheduled to begin Saturday.
Source: Richard Berman (Center for Consumer Freedom), "Animal Groups Callous, Not Cute," USA Today, April 16, 2003.
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