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Activists destroy UCLA researcher's car

March 10, 2009 8:33:09 AM PDT
Animal rights activists have long targeted researchers at UCLA who use animals in their experiments. There have been threatening phone calls and e-mails and five separate firebombings.The latest attack was early Saturday morning, when a researcher woke up to a loud noise. He found that his car had been set aflame and destroyed.

A group called the Animal Liberation Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack on a Web site. The group objects to the use of monkeys and other animals in university medical research.

In its Web site posting, the group claims that the researcher addicts monkeys to methamphetamines and other street drugs. It also used the researcher's name in a warning it posted that said, "Here's a message just for you. We will come for you when you least expect it and do a lot more damage than to your property."

"Wherever you go and whatever you do, we'll be watching you as long as you continue to do your disgusting experiments on monkeys," the statement said.

The group also had a message for the FBI that said, "And a special message for the FBI, the more legit activists you [expletive deleted] with, the more it inspires us since we're the people whom you least suspect, and when we hit, we hit hard."

The FBI and campus police are investigating the firebombing of a neuroscientist's car at his home.

"I think it's a wrong way to communicate your cause," said Hope Halligan, an animal care volunteer.

UCLA said its researchers work under strict guidelines.

"It's a tightly regulated program. We'll only use animals when that's the only alternative to do the research," said Lawrence Lokman, UCLA's assistant vice chancellor.

UCLA has just added $25,000 to the substantial reward of almost $500,000 that it had already offered for information that would lead to the identification of these attackers.

The UCLA's chancellor calls the latest attack "reprehensible."


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