The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) has claimed responsibility for a late January arson attack on the University of Minnesota's (U of M) St. Paul campus, according to university officials.

Its target: the construction site of the U of M's microbial and plant genomics building. Damage was done to a construction trailer and building equipment as well as to a soil-testing lab in the adjacent crops research building. No people or animals were harmed in the fire.

“This amounts to domestic terrorism,” says Robert Elde, dean of the College of Biological Sciences. “We will not tolerate criminal activity disrupting our research enterprise or quest for knowledge. The university is a place that respects and nurtures all viewpoints, but terrorism and destruction of property is simply intolerable.”

A communiqué from ELF says that the arson target was the uncompleted microbial and plant genomics building. The facility will house research and computational labs, conference-instructional facilities and administrative space for research scientists in microbial and plant sciences.