Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2007

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Statement of FBI Counterterrorism Division Assistant Director Joseph Billy, Jr., on the Overseas Arrests of 30 Individuals for Animal Rights Extremism

"Earlier today, law enforcement authorities in the United Kingdom arrested 30 individuals associated with Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) and charged them with criminal offenses in furtherance of animal rights extremism.

With our law enforcement counterparts in the U.K., the FBI shares a mutual interest in stemming crimes affiliated with special interest extremism here in the U.S. In attempts to evade law enforcement and newly enacted U.S. legislation targeting their criminal ways, we have seen these individuals seek to act out beyond national boundaries. Additionally, they have sought to alter the means by which they carry out their acts, the persons they try to intimidate, and the areas in which they operate.

The distinctions between constitutionally protected advocacy and violent criminal activity are extremely important to recognize, and law enforcement officials are solely concerned with those individuals who pursue animal rights or environmental protection acts of terrorism through violence and criminal activity.

Today's arrests send a message that criminal activity is not protected on either side of the ocean. The FBI continues to address this kind of criminal activity as a high priority and has forged strong partnerships with our international law enforcement counterparts. When necessary, and to the full extent the law allows, we will share and exchange information with them to target these criminals."

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