Scotland Yard to seek ALF

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1995:

LONDON –Scotland Yard
has established a special police unit to
investigate the Animal Liberation Front,
headed by anti-terrorist branch chief
David Tucker.
Said deputy assistant commis-
sioner John Howley, who oversees both
the Special Branch and the anti-terrorist
branch, “The people we are interested in
are extremists who are prepared to use
criminal tactics or commit public order
offenses to achieve their ends. I want to
emphasize that animal rights extremist
activity is not terrorism,” he continued.
“There is a definition of terrorist con-
tained in the Prevention of Terrorism
Act, and it is basically the advancement
of political objectives by means of vio-
lence with a view to overthrowing the
government. What these sorts of people
are indulging in is akin to terrorism or
political violence, but not quite on the
same level yet. But it requires very simi-
lar methods of investigation.”

Howley said there appear to be
fewer than 100 violent animal rights
activists, who committed about 800
offenses in Great Britain last year, the
most since 1991, including the place-
ment of about 50 firebombs. Many of
the violent activists, Howley continued,
“have latched on to animal rights
because there is a lot of public support
for it at the moment. If there was a
tremendous national protest about clos-
ing post offices, they would probably
leap on that bandwagon as well.”
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