A series of letter bombs sent to three companies in England prompted
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue a recent alert to
U.S. law enforcement agencies. The attack, which injured one female
worker, serves as a wake-up call for corporations and government
agencies that might have grown complacent in the years since the last
real letter bomb attack.
U.S. law enforcement agencies are on alert after a series of letter
bombs sent to separate locations in England injured one woman at a
multinational company whose work includes animal genotyping. No
arrests have been made in the case, although British authorities have
named "animal rights extremists" as possible suspects. The incident,
occurring more than a decade after the infamous Unabomber arrest and
several years after the anthrax letter scare in the United States,
serves as a reminder that attacks can still come through the mail.
A female employee of Cellmark in Oxfordshire, England, suffered a
minor hand injury when she opened a package containing an improvised
explosive device (IED) at about 9:15 a.m. local time Jan. 18. ...
Although British authorities have said the packages could be linked to
animal rights activists operating in the United Kingdom, they have not
named a specific suspect. The loosely affiliated members of one of the
most aggressive animal rights organizations, U.K.-based Stop
Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), have carried out vicious campaigns
against Huntingdon Life Sciences, a company that has conducted
research using animal testing. SHAC also operates in the United
States, giving DHS good reason to issue an alert of its own in case
the letter bombs are part of a widespread campaign.
If the bombs mailed in England were in fact part of a SHAC operation,
the DHS alert is justified. The group is well-funded, sophisticated
and capable of carrying out such attacks against a wide variety of