ALF, ELF SHOULD END THEIR BRAND OF TERRORISM

October 16, 2001 12:00 am

For those who thought that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks would stop the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front from continuing to carry out their own brand of terrorism, you are wrong.

Only nine days after the single largest terrorist attack in Americas history, ALF operatives ignited an incendiary device at the Coulston Foundation labs in Alamogordo, N.M. The fire resulted in the destruction of tools, equipment and records in a facility that has the worlds largest collection of chimpanzees. The losses were estimated at $1 million.

ALF, founded 25 years ago in England, has frequently targeted biomedical research facilities and enterprises that use animals for food, clothing or entertainment.

Although many people had hoped last months terrorism in New York and at the Pentagon would bring an end to attacks by animal- or earth-protection groups, they are now worried that a new round of attacks by ALF and ELF might be in the offing. The concern is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies might be too preoccupied with international terrorism to pay much attention to ALF or ELF.

David Barbarash, ALFs North American spokesman, said the issues driving saboteurs didnt go away after the Sept. 11 attacks. Barbarash told an Oregonian reporter that he hoped those still mourning victims of the terrorist attacks would become more sensitive to the suffering of animals. He also questioned why the FBI includes ALF and ELF as terrorist organizations.

Even though ALF claims it has never intended to seriously injure anyone, both humans and animals have been hurt in such incidents.

As America and other nations wage the war against terrorism, ALF and ELF may find themselves increasingly associated with international terrorist groups. The attack mode is wrong, illegal and horribly repulsive to Americans. If animal- or earth-protection groups persist in using such methods to try to achieve their goals, they could find they will end up losing much more than they ever thought possible.

SHADOWS OF THE FUTURE

Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, Wash., has a great idea on how to encourage young people to enter the medical field. The hospital has brought on 10 Richland High School students as interns to shadow medical professionals in eight departments.

Hospital officials hope the internship program will get teen-agers thinking about health care as a potential career choice. Washington and other Northwest states will be facing a severe shortage of workers in the health care field in the next two decades.

It doesnt hurt to cultivate interest in a profession early. Getting high-schoolers involved now could easily pay dividends down the road.