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FBI Investigates Fire At Idaho Fur Supplier As Possible Act Of Domestic Terrorism

A fire at a Northwest fur business has attracted the attention of the FBI. Federal agents are now looking into into whether the blaze in Caldwell, Idaho was an act of domestic terrorism. Anonymous members of an animal rights group have claimed responsibility.

The fire started before sunrise last Monday in a storage unit at the Rocky Mountain Fireworks and Fur Company, about 30 miles west of Boise. It’s a retailer and mail-order business that sells sells beaver, bobcat and fox pelts, as well as supplies for trapping and tanning. The fire destroyed about a quarter of the storage unit before firefighters put it out, according to the owner's daughter.

That same day, a group of animal rights activists claimed to have set the fire. The North American Animal Liberation Press Office published a message online signed only by “The Arson Unit.” Referring to the fur company, the message says, “by oppressing innocent life, you've lost your rights.”

A spokeswoman for the FBI in Salt Lake City says agents have joined the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on the investigation. The incident is now classified as a possible case of domestic terrorism.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

On the Web:

Rocky Mountain Fireworks and Fur Company

“The Arson Unit” message, via the North American Animal Liberation Press Office:

Inland Northwest Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covers the economic, demographic and environmental trends that are shaping places east of the Cascades.