The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is an extreme animal rights organization that is classified as a terrorist group by the FBI. ALF identifies its main bases of operation as Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States; all told, it is currently active in about twenty countries worldwide. ALF's self-defined mission is "to effectively allocate resources (time and money) to reduce animal suffering in the world." Toward this end, ALF states that it "carries out direct action against animal abuse in the form of rescuing animals and causing financial loss to animal exploiters, usually through the damage and destruction of property." Counted among these "exploiters" are hunters, fishers, butchers, factory farmers, restaurateurs, and those who use animals to entertain the public (in zoos, circuses, and rodeos). The fur, meat, egg, and dairy industries are also viewed as major offenders, as are scientists and technicians involved in laboratory animal testing. All of these pursuits, charges ALF, "profit from the misery and exploitation of animals." In ALF's estimation, the use of animals as sources of food, clothing, entertainment, or scientific knowledge is immoral and should be prevented by any means necessary.
ALF candidly acknowledges that in its quest to force "animal abuse companies" out of business, it takes "illegal actions ... to bring about animal liberation." Adds ALF, "These are usually one of two things: rescuing animals from laboratories or other places of abuse, or inflicting economic damage on animal abusers." Economic damage is generally inflicted by means of theft, vandalism, arson, and sabotage. Because these activities are unlawful, ALF activists work anonymously, generally in cells of two to five people but sometimes alone. ALF has no formal hierarchy, central organization, leaders, newsletter, or official membership rolls. "Anyone who carries out direct action according to ALF guidelines," its website explains, "is a member of the ALF." The lone lifestyle stipulation is that in order to be recognized and supported by ALF, an individual must be either a vegetarian or a vegan.
And very recently...
GLENDALE, Colo. (CBS4) ― Authorities are investigating whether a fire at The Sheepskin Factory in Glendale is tied to an animal rights group
The fire gutted the business causing $500,000 in damage in late April. The building was located along Colorado Boulevard. It didn't take long for investigators to label this arson, but now, more than a month after the blaze, a claim of responsibility came from someone calling himself ALF Lone Wolf.
"… was done in defense and retaliation for all the innocent animals that have died cruelly at the hands of human oppressors," ALF Lone Wolf posted on a website called Bite Back, which is aligned with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).
"They're already blaming themselves," Israel Dominguez with The Sheepskin Factory said.
The store is now operating in temporary quarters. Dominguez strongly denied the business is involved in cruelty to animals.
"They're grown, they're fed, they're well taken care of. I think they are eventually going to die for edible reasons," Dominguez said.
The posing was the latest in a long string of actions listed involving attacks against businesses around the world.
Police are taking the claim of responsibility very seriously.
"I consider it to be a very solid lead that we are going to follow up very closely; probably one of our more serious leads in the case thus far," Glendale Police Chief Victor Ross said.
The person they believe was responsible was caught on a security camera just before the fire broke out and now the Animal Liberation Front claims it was involved.
"We've enlisted the assistance of the ATF and federal agencies, and we have not stopped investigating the case," Ross said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated the fire scene and has offered a $10,000 reward in this case.
"We've just received that information recently so what we have is we're looking into that to corroborate that information," ATF Special Agent in Charge Marvin Richardson said.
"From the beginning that's kind of our initial thoughts of who was responsible for this," said Helena Livaditis, the owner's daughter. "I've always been hoping we could find some type of information on someone who would want to destroy a family business of 30 years."
ALF is aligned with the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) whose members were convicted in the 1998 Vail lodge arson.