This story is from the archives of UCLA Today, a discontinued publication.

Animal extremists say 'liberationists' responsible for firebomb attack

Violence has once again been directed at a UCLA faculty member who conducts research involving laboratory animals.
The FBI and other members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force are investigating a fire caused by a device left at the front door of a Los Angeles home owned by Edythe London, a UCLA professor of psychiatry and of molecular and medical pharmacology. The device charred the front door early on Feb. 5. Nobody was home at the time and nobody was hurt.
In a news release posted on its Web site, a group calling itself the Animal Liberation Front said that "animal liberationists" were responsible for the attack. In October 2007, the group claimed responsibility for another attack on the UCLA professor's home, which suffered significant flood damage when someone inserted a garden hose through a broken window. The same group also claimed responsibility for leaving an incendiary device next to a car at the home of a UCLA ophthalmologist in June 2007 and near the home of a UCLA research psychologist in summer 2006. In those instances, the FBI said the devices were lit but did not ignite.
"These kinds of deplorable tactics have no place in a civilized society," UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. "We will not stop beneficial research activities because of the illegal, violent acts of a handful of extremists."
Instead, Block said, "UCLA is working closely with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to bring to justice those responsible for this and other acts of violence against our researchers."
Block emphasized that research involving laboratory animals at UCLA is conducted in compliance with strict federal laws and university policies designed to ensure humane care. Such research has led to the development of lifesaving procedures and medicines, including radiation therapy and other cancer treatments, open-heart surgery, organ transplantation, mental health treatments and vaccines.
London utilizes laboratory monkeys in her research on nicotine addiction.
Those with information are urged to contact the FBI at (310) 477-6565.
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