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Investigators seeking leads in Shaklee blast

A small bomb exploded at Shaklee Corp. headquarters in Pleasanton today, injuring no one and causing only minor damage. But questions remain whether the incident is the latest in a wave of suspected bombings by radical animal rights activists.

Shaklee is a subsidiary of the giant Japanese conglomerate Yamanouchi Holdings Group, which has been a major target of animal-rights groups. Ironically, the best-known animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, lists Shaklee as one of those companies that don't test their products on animals.
Investigators seeking leads in Shaklee blast
Fri, Sep. 26, 2003 By Chuck Carroll Mercury News

A small bomb exploded at Shaklee Corp. headquarters in Pleasanton today, injuring no one and causing only minor damage. But questions remain whether the incident is the latest in a wave of suspected bombings by radical animal rights activists.

Shaklee is a subsidiary of the giant Japanese conglomerate Yamanouchi Holdings Group, which has been a major target of animal-rights groups. Ironically, the best-known animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, lists Shaklee as one of those companies that don't test their products on animals.

Police said this afternoon it was too early to say whether there is any connection to animal rights groups.

At least one group, the England-based Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, with branches in the United States, have targeted Yamanouchi. On SHAC's American web site, the group says its global campaign against the company is an ``an example of how major companies can be caught out, exposed, and ultimately reduced to sniveling babies.''

The site links to an ``anonymous group of activists'' who posted ``a year's worth of information on Yamanouchi, from client lists, to bigwigs, to the little people, everyone who walked through the front doors of their Palo Alto facility. The amount of information leaked is enormous.''

That link was disabled by the Angelfire, the web hosting company, because it doesn't meet the terms of agreement.

Recent attacks suspected of being the work of radical animal rights groups have targeted individuals at their homes, including a chef who serves foie gras, or fattened goose or duck liver, at a Bay Area restaurant.

The small bomb blast in a Pleasanton industrial park today occurred at about 3:20 a.m., exploding in a doorway of the Shaklee Corp. headquarters on Willow Road. No one was injured in the explosion, which caused minor damage to the consumer-products company's facility, police and a company official said. Pleasanton police, the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were investigating, police Lt. Dave Spiller said. Employees were told not to come to work today, said Jenifer Thompson, Shaklee's manager of corporate relations. Employees of PeopleSoft, located in the same industrial park near highways 680 and 580, were expected to report to work, Spiller said. Traffic on the highways and BART were not affected, but some surface streets were not expected to reopen until early afternoon. The bombing immediately raised speculation about whether Shaklee was being targeted by animal rights activists, who last month detonated two bombs at the Emeryville headquarters of the nation's third-largest biotechnology firm, Chiron, which conducts animal testing. Those blasts, like the one today in Pleasanton, blew out windows but injured no one. The FBI is looking for some Oregonians in connection with that bombing.

A group called the Revolutionary Cells claimed responsibility for the Chiron attack. The FBI believes the group may be an offshoot of the Animal Liberation Front.

The ALF and a sister group, the Earth Liberation Front, are believed to have been involved in more than 600 criminal acts in the United States since 1996, according to the FBI.

Today's blast, which occurred on the southeast side of the building near a door, left glass scattered about and some damage to the stucco siding, Spiller said. Investigators found a damaged kitchen timer at the scene, he added.


Source:  http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/6869653.htm

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