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Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Most Dangerous Terrorists Today

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.


tbmbuzz said...

Hyperbole alert!

Most dangerous? Hardly. How many beheadings, how many car bombings have they done? For the most part even the most extreme of these nuts concentrate on destroying property not killing women and children.

Most common? Perhaps in the narrow sense of incidents inside the U.S., but this is like comparing the number of traffic tickets to the number of murders. A relative handful of whacko-environmentalists cannot compare to the millions of fanatical Muslims worldwide who would like nothing more than a worldwide caliphate, sharia law and the destruction of Western civilization, and who have slaughtered thousands of innocent people over the past few decades.

Let's keep some perspective here.

S. T. Karnick said...

No Muslim group has beheaded anyone in the United States, nor have they done any car bombings. Domestic terrorists are the most common and most dangerous in the nation at this time. It is by no means hyperbole to say so.

James F. Elliott said...

Zzzzzz... snark... Buh-wuzzah?

Wake me up when they kill somebody.


S. T. Karnick said...

These people have already maimed numerous loggers and other workers, and the fires they set can easily lead to deaths, but, sure, let's wait until they start deliberately murdering people before we begin to care about it. Great idea.

Tlaloc said...

"These people have already maimed numerous loggers and other workers, and the fires they set can easily lead to deaths, but, sure, let's wait until they start deliberately murdering people before we begin to care about it. Great idea."

Deaths to date: 0.

Really though the hyperbolic screaming about environmentalists was pretty much a given. That is the usual fall back position when people are caught dealing in junk science.

James F. Elliott said...

Sam, I'm not saying don't care about it. I'm saying that the hyperbole is boring and out of all proportion to the threat. The only way these folks rise to the level of terrorists is if you care more about property than people.

Tlaloc said...

"The only way these folks rise to the level of terrorists is if you care more about property than people."

Ironic isn't it that the end of slavery (i.e. the repudiation of people AS property) actually meant those people lost value in the eyes of some elements of our society?

D said...

That's going to leave a mark...

Gregg J. said...

This was an interesting article as well as your reader's comments.