ALF Claims Credit for University of Iowa Vandalism
Posted: November 30, 2004
Update: Scott DeMuth, an Iowa man charged with conspiracy to commit animal enterprise terrorism in connection with the break-in at the Spence Laboratories, is scheduled to stand trial starting September 13, 2010.
The most active extreme animal rights movement in the United States has claimed responsibility for vandalizing a University of Iowa animal research lab.
In a November 18, 2004, communiqué sent to media via e-mail, the Animal Liberation Front took credit for pouring acid on research documents, destroying computers and removing more than 400 animals from the Spence Laboratories, which its calls the university's "chamber of hell."
"This raid was carried out to halt the barbaric research of the UI Psychology Department's 7 primary animal researchers," read the communiqué, which also listed researchers' addresses, home phone numbers and spouses' names. "Let this message be clear to all who victimize the innocent: We're watching. And by axe, drill, or crowbar – we're coming through your door."
Copies of a 50-minute videotape showing masked individuals ransacking the lab were sent to the FBI and media.
University officials estimate the vandals caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage during the November 14 incidentCommenting on the incident from England, ALF's UK press officer, Robin Webb, said, "Anyone can go out and undertake action that falls within those policies and claim it under the umbrella of the Animal Liberation Front….There are no leaders. There are those who appear to be more prominent but they are not responsible for overall planning and they don't coordinate the various cells."