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Violent Vandals Attack Peninsula Lab
Video On Internet (13mb .wmv) Important Evidence
The FBI is investigating the attack in San Carlos and its possible connection to animal rights activists who've waged a campaign of fear across the Bay Area and across the country.
The video posted on the Internet today (Tuesday) by the Animal Liberation Front is important evidence to the FBI's case.
It shows hooded activists vandalizing Bachem Laboratories in San Carlos two weeks ago. They paint "puppy killers" and "we'll be back" on the walls and then smash several windows.
The company reported the attack to San Carlos police.
Dan Noyes: "Any serious leads or is it a dry hole at this point?"
Sgt. Mark Robbins, San Carlos Police: "Still an ongoing investigation."
The vandals chose Bachem because it does business with a notorious animal testing lab based in England called Huntingdon Life Sciences, or HLS. In 1997, activists went undercover and took pictures of workers violently abusing beagles, punching them in the face, and cutting open live, unsedated monkeys. Now, activists are trying to close HLS by targeting its customers.
Andrea Lyndsay, Bay Area activist: "Huntingdon's been exposed abusing animals and Bachem is therefore part of it, and as long as Bachem continues to play a link in that chain, there's going to be complaints against Bachem, actions against Bachem, until they stop supporting Huntingdon."
Andrea Lyndsay is a Bay Area activist who's lead HLS demonstrations at the homes of bio-tech executives. She says she was not involved in the Bachem attack. The Animal Liberation Front posted a warning on the Internet today:
"Bachem -- this is only the beginning. All of the security, cameras and burglar alarms that you can buy will not save you now. Sever any and all ties to HLS. If not, things can only get worse. See you soon!"
None of the executives or employers at Bachem would speak with ABC7 on camera because they're too concerned about saying the wrong thing and angering the ALF. In the past few months, activists have been vandalizing employees' homes and sending threatening e-mail.
Underground activists targeting HLS customers even bombed two East Bay companies in 2003.
The FBI's prime suspect is a Sonoma County man. He's still on the loose and a civil grand jury has subpoenaed several local activists in the case, including Andrea Lyndsay. She says law enforcement is inadvertently pushing activists underground and into violent activity.
Andrea Lyndsay: "They keep hitting us above ground people who aren't doing anything illegal, what do you think new people are going to do?"
A local activist is set to appear before the grand jury on Wednesday on the HLS matter, and more are scheduled for next month.