(WASHINGTON) — The FBI is asking the public for help in identifying a group of “eco-terror criminals” who claimed responsibility for destroying 14 trucks at a ranch owned by California’s largest beef producer in January.
During the early morning hours on Jan. 8, 2012, a group of animal liberation activists cut through a fence at the Harris Feeding Company in Coalinga, Calif., and set improvised incendiary devices beneath tractor trailers on the property, causing $2 million worth of damage.
“The danger that this presents to all of us in the community cannot be overstated,” the FBI said in a statement released Friday that asked the public for help. “Although the offenders may believe that they are being careful, each moment they spend working with these extremely sensitive and volatile materials places friends, family, neighbors, children, and other members of our community in grave danger.”
No injuries were reported at the ranch.
An anonymous group claimed responsibility on the North American Animal Liberation Front‘s website.
“We’re not delusional enough to believe that this action will shut down the Harris Feeding Company, let alone have any effect on factory farming as a whole. But we maintain that this type of action still has worth, if not solely for the participant’s peace of mind, then to show that despite guards, a constant worker presence, and razorwire fence, the enemy is still vulnerable,” the group said in a statement.
The Harris Feeding Company spans 800 acres and produces almost 250,000 fed cattle per year.
This is the most notable crime in terms of scale in recent years that has been tied to the animal liberation movement.
Activists burned a University of California-Davis veterinary laboratory in 1987, and in 1992 they firebombed a Michigan State University laboratory.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eric Levenson, Devon Sayers and Jamiel Lynch, CNN
Christopher Dawson, CNN
Madeline Holcombe, CNN
Michael Nedelman, CNN