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FBI Seeks Public's Help in Aftermath of BYU Fire

FBI Seeks Public's Help in Aftermath of BYU Fire

Posted - Jul. 9, 2004 at 10:00 p.m.



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Sandra Yi reportingRay Mey: "The trend is more violence. That's all I can tell you. We see less and less of a concern for human life."

A chilling warning from the F-B-I. Recent arsons, believed started by eco-terrorist groups, may be a sign of more to come. Authorities are still investigating this week's arson, at B-Y-U's agriculture center.

All signs, point to the radical group, the 'Animal Liberation Front'.

The F-B-I is asking for publics help, to solve these crimes. Authorities say these groups are dangerous and becoming more violent. They say for members, public safety is just an afterthought.

At the scene of yesterday's arson at B-Y-U, a radical group proudly displayed their calling card.

The A-L-F has targeted the agriculture center before, but authorities say never so violently. They say, it's part of a disturbing trend.

Ray Mey, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation: "If there's not a furtherance of their cause and they don't get the attention they desire, then they'll resort to other means. Namely, more violence."

Just last month, a related eco-terrorist group, the 'Earth Liberation Front', claimed to have started a fire at this West Jordan lumberyard.

No one has been arrested.

Authorities say, solving these crimes, isn't easy. They say, it's almost impossible for law enforcement to infiltrate these groups, or use money as an incentive, for inside information. Members are so loosely based, but strongly bound by ideology.

Ray Mey: "What we see in groups like this is a strong commitment. We saw a strong concern for their operational security. There's not a lot of chatter that goes on amongst individuals in public."

The F-B-I is urging vigilance. They hope the public will report all suspicious activity, including unusual surveillance activity at potential targets, like laboratories and car dealerships.

Authorities say, these types of crimes, have recently escalated, and they predict more will come.

Ray Mey: "I see no end to this. I see this as a lot of these activities are being inspired by others and we see what's happening here as a roll call, if you will, of other activities that will happen nationwide."

And there could be a so-called 'roll call', here in Utah. National speakers, representing the A-L-F and the E-L-F, will be here, at the Salt Lake library, next week. The F-B-I will be following it.

Anyone with information on recent incidents or other suspicious activities should call 801-579-1400.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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