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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

 

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''Shadow'' Cell Claims Credit for Chiron Bombing

Animal rights group claims credit for blasts that rock Chiron Corp. headquarters in Emeryville

EMERYVILLE - A shadowy animal rights group has claimed credit for the recent?bombing of two buildings on the grounds of the headquarters of the Chiron Corp., the third largest?international biotech firms in the US.

The previously unknown group, which calls itself "The Revolutionary Cells" (TRC), said it planted the bombs "in an act of animal liberation through armed struggle"?in a 224-word statement posted on Bite Back, an animal rights website.

The group threatened more violence against Chiron and "any other companies" that do business with the UK-based Huntington Life Sciences (HLS) testing laboratory.

According to a spokesman with the? Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, the incident is being considered an act of domestic terrorism and the case has been assigned to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.

According to the TRC statement, the bombing?"is the endgame for the animal killers, and if you choose to stand with them you will be dealy with accordingly," the statement said. "There will be no quarter given, no more half measures will be taken."

The day of the bombings, Philadelphia-based Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (ShacUSA) - the animal rights group that has spearheaded protests against Chiron and other biotech companies working with?HLS - praised the attack, but the group has since tried to distance itself from the incident.

Refering to The Revolutionary Cells, ShacUSA President Kevin Jonas told reporters that he has "never heard" of'the Revolutionary Cells.

"[TRC] are different in that their rhetoric indicates that they may not share our commitment to non-violence," he said.?

Jonas had originally expressed approval of the bombings calling them "acts of economic sabotage."

According to a statement from ShacUSA released immediately after the bombing, the organization "has not received any communication indicating that the blasts at Chiron Corp. were animal rights related. Nonetheless, we extend the following statement in support of acts of economic sabotage."
?
"Daily," the ShacUSA statement continued,?"US forces both cause and experience death, ostensibly to combat terrorism in the Mid-East. SHAC USA considers acts against property to be of the highest moral quality as they aim to save lives without taking any, no less causing injury. Such actions should drive a clear wedge between true terrorism - such as the death of? 3000 innocent people in the World Trade Center tragedy - and supposed 'terrorism' touted as such by an industry that profits from the exploitation of life."

The bombing came on the heels of an escalating campaign of harassment against Chiron executives, according to?Chiron spokesman John Gallagher, who added that?a number of executives have been harassed over the past month by animal rights protesters.

The executives, whom Gallagher declined to name, have had rubbish dumped at their homes, slogans spray-painted on sidewalks, and protesters picketing outside their homes.

On the advice of law enforcement officials, the company over the past few weeks has stepped up security at its campus and warned its staff to be alert, he added.

More than 2,000 people work at Chiron's the company's headquarters complex making it the largest employer in Emeryville, located between the Bay Area cities of Oakland and Berkeley.

According to the company's website, Chiron has a "strategic focus" on developing pharmaceuticals to treat cancer and infectious diseases.

The company generated $1.3 billion in total sales last year, $651 million of which was derived from overseas sales.

Chiron employs more than 4,000 people worldwide and has a distribution and field network that encompasses 18 countries'stretching from Mexico and the US to Russia and South Korea. The company also?operates manufacturing facilities in Germany, India, Italy, the Netherlands, and the US.

The Chiron bombing follows closely behind several other incidents attributed to animal rights activists including an arson fire at a San Diego apartment building construction site, and fires at the homes of'the owners of a Sonoma, CA restaurant who?plan to serve fois gras when they open the business?later this month.?

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