Home invasion was act of 'domestic terrorism'

March 4, 2008 9:07:29 PM PST
The FBI is calling the home invasion targeting a U.C. Santa Cruz researcher an act of domestic terrorism. Investigators are now pooling their information to find the animal rights activists they believe are responsible for the attack.

U.C. Santa Cruz students are still baffled as to why animal rights activists would attack one of their professors.

"I don't believe that attacking anyone is the method for righting a wrong. Human beings are animals as well," says Rain Miner, a UCSC student.

"It's only going to damage their position. People aren't going to respect them any more," says Zachary Shelton, a UCSC student.

What Santa Cruz police want is to catch them. The researcher's name and address are being withheld by police.

One of the suspects whotried to break into the home of a UCSC professor on February 24th is described as a man in his twenties, 5'6" to 5'10", with brown or reddish brown hair, with brown eyes, and a light complexion.

Santa Cruz police say the men involved are animal activists, but they don't know what group they might belong to. They have asked other police agencies to help identify them.

"We're working with University of Berkeley Police Department, the Berkeley Police Department, Palo Alto, San Jose and all agencies within Santa Cruz County, to try and share information as far as who these people might be and what their intent might be," says an official with the Santa Cruz Police Department.

Today, investigators from the Santa Cruz Police Department met with their counterparts -- The Terrorist Early Warning Group - or TEAWIG - to exchange information. TEAWIG is part of homeland security and provides analysis and funds to local police agencies to battle domestic terrorism.

"Their job is to take information, analyze it, specifically look at what might be applicable to certain jurisdictions or certain locations, or even for all of us, what types of trends and what kinds of problems we might expect," says Santa Cruz Police Department.Captain Steve Clark.

The UC Santa Cruz cancer researcher who was the target of the attack is still at work. Her work does involve the use of lab mice. UCSC officials say security at the campus and at researchers' homes is being provided as needed.