FBI offers $5,000 reward in probe of Reno KFC firebombing

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — FBI agents investigating an attempted fire bombing at a fast-food restaurant offered a $5,000 reward Wednesday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for what authorities believe was an act of domestic terrorism.

The attacker or attackers threw Molotov cocktails through the window of the KFC in Reno on March 9 and spray-painted the initials "ALF" on the drive-thru menu, FBI spokeswoman Bridget Pappas said in a statement announcing the reward.

Those are the initials of the Animal Liberation Front — a group that long has accused KFC of animal cruelty.

"Based on the nature of the crime committed, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating the matter," the statement said.

The building suffered minor damage but was unoccupied at the time, and no one was hurt. The restaurant north of downtown Reno near the Sparks border reopened the next day.

Officials with ALF's North American press office in Los Angeles did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

ALF press officer Nicoal Sheen told The Associated Press shortly after the Reno incident that the group was not aware of anyone claiming responsibility for it, and the group had no such claim among a list of "anonymous communiques" on its website Wednesday.

Another animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, picketed in front of a Reno KFC in 2003 in protest of the restaurant chain's refusal to change the way it treats and kills chickens.

The most recent violence in Reno that the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for was a fire in May 2009 that gutted the business office of a company that ships monkeys from China for scientific research in the United States and elsewhere.

In 2007, several members of a cell group of the Animal Liberation Front were convicted of setting more than 20 fires in five Western states that caused $40 million in damage, including an arson fire in 2001 at a U.S. Bureau of Land Management facility housing wild horses in Litchfield, California — about 90 miles northwest of Reno.

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