Americans are correct to be concerned about potential terror activities by Muslims, but the most common form of terrorism since 9/11 has been among so-called environmental and animal-rights activists.
In their vigilante-style attempts to force people to obey laws set by these groups themselves, laws which the American people and their federal, state, and local governments have declined to impose, these terrorists have set forth on a continuous and increasing effort to terrorize residents of new communities, individuals and firms even remotely associated with organizations that use animals in even the most benign way to discover cures for human ills, logging companies (whose work, by the way, if allowed to go forward more sensibly, would prevent the kinds of huge forest fires we endure every summer), and other people who have offended the sensibilities of these eco-fascists.
The U.S. federal and state governments have been woefully slow in responding to this rising tide of domestic terrorism, but they are finally starting to get it, and the individuals, researchers, and businesses under attack are starting to fight back as well.
In today's edition of TechCentralStation, the redoubtable Iain Murray tells the story of several concerted attacks in Great Britian by "animal-rights" activists, which led to strong action against the terrorists when they began to attack Oxford University.
Here, from Iain's article, is a sample of the kind of heroic things these "activists" do:
In February 2001, Brian Cass, the managing director of HLS, later honored by Queen Elizabeth II for services to medical research, was attacked by three men armed with pickaxe handles. Its marketing director, Andrew Gay, was attacked with a chemical spray that temporarily blinded him.
Murray notes that the extremists' actions are becoming increasingly bold and bizarre:
[L]ast year a British farm that bred guinea pigs for use in animal experiments pulled out of the business after the culmination of a long campaign against them when activists desecrated the grave of the owner's grandmother and "kidnapped" her body. The activists were tracked down and recently entered a plea of guilty to blackmail in relation to the desecration. The whereabouts of the remains, however, are still unknown.
Fellow members of the Left have condemned this sort of activity, as they certainly should. Murray writes, "One of the most powerful summaries and indictments of SHAC's method came from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which compared SHAC to anti-abortion extremists."
These are not activists; they are thugs and terrorists.
The good news is that when the terrorists went after Oxford, they bit off much more than they could chew. Their incursions against the university "and everyone linked to [that] institution," which the U.S.-based Animal Liberation Front called for, backfired. A strong counter-protest group, Pro Test (founded by a fed-up 16-year-old high school dropout), arose, and prominent scientists and researchers joined politicians and citizens of both Left and Right to stand up against the bullies. Work on the institution's proposed facility consolidating all of the university's biomedical research efforts into a unified research center is moving forward.
In the United States, terrorists targeting tree farms in the Pacific Northwest were recently apprehended and indicted, six animal-rights terrorists were convicted of animal enterprise terrorism and multiple counts of conspiring and committing interstate stalking and of telephone harassment (they face substantial fines and prison terms of up to 14 years when sentencing is imposed in June), and Congress is considering an update of the 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act to an Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.
Much work remains to be done in restoring rule of law under violent attack by fanatics such as these, but it is good to see steps being taken in that direction. Read Iain's excellent article here.