Two pipe bombs exploded at Chiron Corp’s Emeryville headquarters causing minor damage at the biotech firm’s sprawling campus early last Thursday morning. No one was hurt in the two explosions that occurred an hour after one another in separate buildings a little before 3 a.m.
An animal rights group calling itself “Revolutionary Cells” claimed responsibility in a posting on the Web site of Biteback magazine, a journal for underground animal rights groups.
Chiron began in Berkeley, later moving to its present location in Emeryville.
Blasting Chiron as “animal-killing scum,” the bombers said they targeted the firm because it tests cancer and infectious disease medicines on animals using Huntingdon Life Sciences. Revolutionary Cells called the New Jersey-based Huntingdon one of the “most egregious animal killers in the industry.”
Although a Chiron spokesman said that the company had no current dealings with Huntingdon, he said the company would not rule out working with them again in the future. Revolutionary Cells said the group would continue to target the biotech giant until it announces it has severed all ties with Huntingdon. Until then “we consider them fair game,” says the group’s leader, Kevin Jonas.
The Food and Drug Administration requires biotech firms to test their drugs on animals.
Both the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms the are investigating the attack, but have no suspects. Domestic terrorism is being considered as a motive, but “at this point we just don’t have enough information,” said FBI Special Agent LaRae Quy.