- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2005

COMMACK, N.Y. (AP) — Last month, animal rights extremists followed the wife of a pharmaceutical company executive to her job, rifled through her car and stole a credit card. They used it buy $20,000 in traveler’s checks, which they then donated to four charities.

The actions by the radical Animal Liberation Front (ALF) appear to be the latest salvo in an ongoing battle that pits scientists, businesses and labs involved in animal research against those intent on stopping them.

The president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, a group backed by institutions that rely on animal research, said ALF members operate like terrorists.

“These are unbelievably mean-spirited people who operate under this delusion that they are on a higher moral ground than the rest of us,” Frankie Trull said. “They operate in a classic terrorist organization mode. There are individual cells, and, as we understand it, one doesn’t know what another is doing. Regrettably, I think this is actually a growing industry.”

ALF’s credo on its Web site — www.animalliberationfront.com — asserts that the group “carries out direct action against animal abuse in the form of rescuing animals and causing financial loss to animal exploiters, usually through the damage and destruction of property.”

The FBI is investigating a number of attacks in the past year that ALF says its members carried out against Manhattan-based Forest Laboratories and its executives. Forest specializes in developing medicines for depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease and hypertension.

ALF wants Forest to cut its ties with the British company Huntingdon Life Sciences, which it says kills animals in testing. A Huntingdon spokesman did not respond to requests for comment, but the company has said it does not violate laws in its experiments. Forest officials also did not return requests for comment.

The Foundation for Biomedical Research on its Web site has a 44-page spreadsheet detailing incidents of vandalism and other crimes purportedly committed in the past several decades by ALF and other groups, including Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty.

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