Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ALF in Wales

In 1987 fire bombs were discovered in three of Cardiff's largest department stores: Howells, Debenhams and David Morgan. They had been secreted in items of furniture but failed to go off due to faulty timing devices. An anonymous telephone warning had been received but after a fruitless search of the stores it was believed to be nothing more than a crank call. It's just as well nobody bought the potentially lethal items of furniture. When, a couple of days later, the incendiary devices were finally found army bomb disposal experts had to be called in. All other shops in the city centre were searched as a wave of panic swept through the capital. Sort of.

Who had planted the bombs? Speculation that "Welsh extremists" were to blame for the failed fire bomb attack ended when the Animal Liberation Front contacted a local newspaper claiming responsibility. They warned the three targeted shops to cease trading in furs immediately. Next time, they said, the bombs wouldn't malfunction. The bombs had been set to go off at night when fire could spread more rapidly or at least set off the sprinkler systems and damage stock.

It is thought that the attack was also meant to coincide with the show trial of 6 ALF members which was then going on in Sheffield. They had been accused of attacking shops in other parts of the UK. It was also noted that a few months prior to the Cardiff attack there had been an ALF recruitment drive in south Wales. Leading ALF activists had attended meetings in Newport, Cardiff and Swansea. They had apparently urged Welsh supporters to intensify their campaign of 'economic sabotage' against exploiters of animals.