Multi-Agency Joint Terrorism Task Force Reward Offered in Latest Attack Targeting UCLA Professor and Update to Outstanding Rewards for Similar Attacks Claimed by Animal Rights Extremists Since 2006
|FBI Los Angeles April 22, 2009|
A reward of up to $75,000 is being announced by multiple agencies for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person/s responsible for the suspected arson of a vehicle owned by a UCLA professor on March 7, 2009. A collective sum of $50,000 was recently approved and added to a previously announced reward of $25,000 offered by UCLA following the March 7th attack. A short time following the incident, animal rights extremists anonymously claimed responsibility for the attack.
Multiple organizations have been authorized to offer reward money in this case, and in connection with a series of attacks where arson and the use of incendiary devices are suspected. In each case, UCLA professors who conduct biomedical research, which may involve the use of animals, appear to have been targeted by animal rights extremists.
Organizations contributing to the rewards are: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the FBI, the ATF, and the City of Los Angeles. The contributions represent the investigative partners in this case, including the UCLA Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles City Fire Department, the FBI and the ATF; all members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Los Angeles. The various incidents are being investigated as acts of domestic terrorism.
The FBI defines terrorism as, "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." Domestic terrorism involves groups or individuals who are based and operate entirely within the United States and/or Puerto Rico, without foreign direction, and whose acts are directed at elements of the U.S. government or population.
Below is a list of rewards being offered in exchange for information about person/s responsible for attacks dating back to June 2006. Certain reward amounts have been increased from the amount initially offered. Below each incident date is a summary of the attack. Each incident had the potential for causing serious injury to human life, or to property.
In each of the incidents described below, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to extinguish the fire, and/or to determine the cause of the fire. Evidence response teams responded to collect evidence for further analysis and enhancement, where possible. There have been no arrests or criminal charges filed in connection with the attacks; however, each incident is actively being investigated.
Incident Date: 6/30/2006
Total Reward of $110,000 Offered
On 6/30/2006, an unidentified individual(s) attempted to set fire to a residence located on Roscomare Rd, Los Angeles, California, by means of an improvised incendiary device (IID). It is believed the intended target was a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researcher, whose residence was located next door. Several days later, an anonymous communiqué claiming responsibility for the action in the name of an animal rights extremist group was posted online, although the communiqué claimed the correct house was targeted.
Incident Date: 6/30/2007
Total Reward of $110,000 Offered
On 06/30/2007, an unidentified individual(s) attempted to set fire to a vehicle belonging to a UCLA researcher by means of an IID. The vehicle was parked on the street in front of the residence located on Loring Ave, Los Angeles, California. Several days later, a claim of responsibility was made in the name of an animal rights extremist group.
Incident Date: 10/20/2007 & 2/5/2008
Total Reward of $115,000 Offered
On 02/05/2008, an unidentified individual(s) set fire to the residence of a UCLA researcher, located on Shadybrook Dr, Los Angeles, California, by means of an IID. The device successfully ignited and damaged a large portion of the front door of the residence. Prior to this incident, on 10/20/2007, an unidentified subject(s) vandalized the same residence by breaking a window, sticking a garden house inside, and flooding the home. The water damage was estimated at a cost of $60,000. Both incidents were eventually claimed in the name of an animal rights extremist group.
Incident Date: November 20, 2008
Total Reward of $65,000 Offered
On 11/20/2008, an improvised incendiary device was placed under the vehicle of a UCLA researcher nearby the researcher’s home on Greenfield Avenue in Los Angeles; two vehicles were destroyed. The device was left in front of a home that belonged to a neighbor where a woman and her daughter were asleep. Several days later, a claim of responsibility was made in the name of an animal rights extremist group.
Incident Date: March 7, 2009
Total Reward of $75,000 Offered
On 03/07/2007, an auto fire was reported at the home of a UCLA researcher on N. Beverly Glen Blvd., Los Angeles, California. The fire consumed the interior of the car. Arson investigators with the Fire Department ruled the fire to be an act of arson. An animal rights extremist group later made a claim of responsibility online.
Anyone with information about the identity of the person/s responsible for any of the incidents listed below is urged to contact one of the law enforcement agencies investigating the case. In Los Angeles, the FBI can be reached 24 hours a day at 310 477-6565 or toll free at 888 226-8443. Confidentiality is guaranteed.
FBI: Laura Eimiller: 310 996-3343
UCLA: Phil Hampton, Assistant Director, UCLA Office of Media Relations: 310 206-1460
ATF: Special Agent Michael Hoffman, PIO: 213 925-4547
LAPD: Sergeant Ronnie Crump, Media Relations: 213 485-3586
LAFD: Chief Ronnie Villanueva: 213 509-1573