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Bombings target animal researchers

August 4, 2008 |  3:16 pm

The FBI is expected to take over the investigation of the Saturday morning firebombings of a home and car belonging to two UC Santa Cruz biomedical researchers who conduct experiments on animals. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports:

Santa Cruz police officials said Sunday the case will be handed to the FBI to investigate as domestic terrorism while local authorities explore additional security measures for the 13 UCSC researchers listed in a threatening animal-rights pamphlet found in a downtown coffee shop last week.

"The FBI has additional resources and intelligence into groups and individuals that might have the proclivity to carry out this kind of activity," police Capt. Steve Clark said. "The FBI has a whole other toolbox of tools for this kind of investigation."

The front porch of a faculty member's home on Village Circle off High Street was hit with a firebomb about 5:40 a.m. Saturday, police said. The bomb ignited the front door of the home and filled the house with smoke, police said. About the same time, a Volvo station wagon parked in a faculty member's on-campus driveway on Dickens Way was destroyed by a firebomb, police said....

No suspects have been identified, Clark said.

UCSC biologist David Feldheim, whose Village Circle home was targeted, performs research on mice to understand how brain connections form during development. Feldheim and his wife and two young children escaped their house on a fire ladder from a second-story window.

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