2008年8月4日月曜日

UCSC研究員宅火炎瓶投下

二人のUCSC研究員宅に火炎瓶が投下された。
車も放火された。非難の際に、ケガをした人もいたようだ。
以前より、校舎に放火されたり、研究員宅に不法侵入、研究員に傷害を負わせ
る等を繰り返していた。犯行声明は出ておらず、犯人も捕まっていないようだ。

被害者は「マウスによる脳内視覚システム伝達の発達」を研究しており、
目的は、事故、病気等で損傷した場合の脳の修復らしい。

被害者は、昨年、自宅の歩道にチョークで嫌がらせのメッセージを書かれたり、
花壇を壊されたり、ゴミをばらまかれた上家を破壊されたらしい。
こんな状態にも関わらず、加州警察は事件性を認めず(?)対象者を保護しない
かったのだろうか。
警察内部に偽動物愛護団体に同調する人が多いと言うことかもしれない。
米国でテロの対象となったら、自分の身は自分で護れということ。


---Firebombings at Homes of 2 California Researchers---
By JESSE McKINLEY
Published: August 4, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/04/us/04firebombs.html

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The police and federal authorities are investigating firebombings at the homes of two researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The attacks, which the university described as “antiscience violence,” occurred nearly simultaneously before dawn on Saturday, just days after the police in Santa Cruz discovered pamphlets in a coffee shop warning of attacks against “animal abusers everywhere.” The pamphlets included the names, addresses and other personal information of several researchers at the university, according to a news release put out on Friday by the university.

About 5:30 a.m. Saturday, two small bombs ignited outside the researchers’ homes. In one of the attacks, a vehicle was destroyed in a faculty member’s driveway. At the second residence, a two-story home near the university’s front gates, the fire forced the researcher, his wife and two children to flee the home from an upstairs window. The fires were quickly extinguished.

One minor injury was reported, according to The Santa Cruz Sentinel, which also said the police were viewing the attacks as acts of attempted homicide and domestic terrorism. The Santa Cruz Police Department would not comment on their investigation on Sunday.

But the researcher whose house caught fire was identified by The Associated Press as David Feldheim, a molecular biologist, who was listed in the pamphlet. The other researcher was not identified.

The fires provoked an angry response from the university’s chancellor, who said the attacks were being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as by the campus police and the state fire marshal’s office.

“These unconscionable acts put the researchers, their families — including their children — and their neighbors in grave danger,” the chancellor, George R. Blumenthal, said in a news release.

The university described the attacks as the latest in a series of threats and provocations from those opposed to “biomedical research using animals,” including a February incident in which several masked intruders entered a researcher’s home. After a confrontation, the intruders fled. That incident followed harassing phone calls and vandalism of researchers’ homes, the university said.

In December, the 10 chancellors at the University of California campuses affirmed in a statement their support of animal research and the university system’s commitment to “the highest standards of animal care, safety and health.”

At one of the bombed properties, the porch was badly scorched and a plastic watering can lay melted next to the charred front door. Two small windows in the door had also melted.

The attacks surprised some in Santa Cruz, a genial beachfront town where laid-back college students and equally relaxed day-trippers make up much of the landscape.

Chris Conway, who lives across the street from one of the homes that was attacked, said investigators had combed the site all day Saturday.

“I don’t know what they did to deserve that,” said Mr. Conway, a 19-year-old student. “I think that’s kind of messed up to do that to someone’s home.”


---UC bombings linked to animal rights activists---
Wyatt Buchanan,Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writers
Sunday, August 3, 2008
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/03/MNMI124HSI.DTL


(08-03) 20:22 PDT Santa Cruz - --

Investigators sifting the evidence of two firebombings targeting UC Santa Cruz biologists believe the potentially lethal devices are similar to ones used in the past by animal rights activists, authorities said today.

The bombs were so powerful they were like "Molotov cocktails on steroids," said Santa Cruz police Capt. Steve Clark.

One struck the home of assistant biology Professor David Feldheim on Saturday morning, forcing him to flee with his family. The other exploded just a few minutes earlier, gutting a car parked outside the campus home of a second researcher.

Later, Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputies went to the home of a third researcher who received a threatening telephone message, but officers found no explosives.

More than 50 investigators, including some from the FBI's regional terrorism task force, are looking into the attacks.

Feldheim, whose townhouse was firebombed just after 5:30 a.m., uses mice in laboratory research on brain formation.

He told The Chronicle that he and his wife, along with their 7-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, had to drop a ladder from the window of a second-floor bedroom to escape after smoke filled the home's first floor.

"Everyone is OK," Feldheim said in an e-mail. "The kids are taking it pretty well. My wife and I are very shaken up. I also injured both feet in the escape."
Act of terrorism

Feldheim was treated at a hospital and released, police said. Clark said the attack on Feldheim is being considered an act of terrorism and attempted murder.

Clark said the bomb at Feldheim's house was similar to those used by animal rights extremists in the past, adding, "There are instructions on how to make it on their Web sites."

Feldheim and the unidentified faculty member who received the threatening message were named on pamphlets that were left on a stack of newspapers in a downtown Santa Cruz coffee shop last Tuesday, Clark said. The unsigned pamphlets at Caffe Pergolesi, which printed 13 researchers' pictures and addresses, called them murderers and torturers and said, "Animal abusers everywhere beware."

The name of the researcher whose car was bombed was not on the pamphlets, Clark said.

The attacks may mark an escalation in a series of protests against UC researchers that prompted a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to issue a temporary restraining order against three animal rights groups in February.

In January, a Molotov cocktail exploded on a UCLA researcher's porch. A month later, six people in masks tried to force their way into the home of a UC Santa Cruz researcher and hit her husband on the head, police said.

And at UC Berkeley, officials said 24 animal researchers and seven staffers have been harassed in recent months, with some homes and cars vandalized.

Clark said authorities are offering security to UC Santa Cruz animal researchers and have contacted every person named on the pamphlet, whether or not they were involved in animal testing. He said investigators were combing the Internet to see if anyone would take credit for the attacks. But as of today, no one had.

"It's one thing to be an activist, it's another to be an extremist," Clark said. "It's absolutely outrageous that you would bring this kind of an attack to a family, all because of your passion over this cause. To me it's indicative of people who have a complete inability to articulate their point in a constructive manner."

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal condemned the bombings as "criminal acts of anti-science violence."

A different view was expressed today by Jerry Vlasak, a Los Angeles spokesman for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, which often posts on its Web site communiques from activists taking credit for attacks. He said the benefit of animal research does not justify its expense or the exploitation of animals.

Vlasak said the bombers likely were not trying to hurt Feldheim, but were instead "trying to send a message to this guy, who won't listen to reason, that if he doesn't stop hurting animals, more drastic measures will be taken ... it's certainly not an initial tactic, but a tactic of last resort."

Feldheim, whose work includes introducing genes into living mouse brains, said that his research "is aimed at understanding how brain connections form during development, with special focus on the visual system." He said the work is important "so we can learn how to fix these connections after damage due to injury or disease."

Feldheim's front door and concrete patio in a complex of townhouses on Village Circle remained blackened by flames and smoke. A neighbor said that residents, who are mostly faculty and students, awoke to the sound of an alarm.

"I feel bad that anyone would take that drastic a step to harm people," said Miriam Ting, a Santa Cruz pharmacist.
No answer

Just a few blocks away, no one answered the door at the brown faculty townhouse where the car had been firebombed, and a biology professor listed as living there did not respond to an e-mail. His driveway was still charred; the car was no longer there.

"It's a threat to everyone who lives here," said David Anthony, a history professor whose home is attached to the one where the car was firebombed.

Feldheim described a frightening escape. When the bomb exploded near his front door, he said, his family was awakened by the sound of smoke detectors.

"The downstairs was so smoky that we could not see," said Feldheim. "My wife and children all escaped out of the bedroom window using a fire-escape ladder. A neighbor and then the Fire Department came and put out the fire."

Feldheim said his home had been vandalized last year, with "hateful messages" written in chalk on the sidewalk outside, trash strewn about and some flower planters broken. The university responded by paying for an alarm system and motion-sensitive lights, he said.

"I'm not sure what we'll do in the future," Feldheim said.

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