Rodney Coronado admits to historical university arson attack
Wed, 1 March 2017
Category: Media: conferences and press
Rodney Coronado, a former member of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), has finally admitted to a firebomb attack carried out at a research laboratory 25 years after committing the crime. In the early hours of February 28th 1992, a homemade bomb was detonated at Michigan State University (MSU), causing $1 million in damage and destroying 32 years of research conducted by Richard Aulerich on natural mink populations. The fire also resulted in the destruction of a decade worth of research by Karen Chou on alternatives to animal testing. In addition, the mink breeding facility at MSU was targeted on the same night, animals were released, identity tags destroyed and walls vandalised with graffiti.
After laying low for 2 years Coronado was arrested and charged in 1994. Coronado pleaded guilty to the MSU attack in exchange for having other charges dropped. He served over 4 years in prison and was ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution, though has always previously denied actual responsibility for the attack.
In an interview with the Lansing State Journal this February, Coronado openly admitted for the first time that he was solely responsible for the firebomb attack, as well as multiple terrorist activities carried out under the Animal Liberation Front banner. During his activist days, Coronado worked alongside various animal rights organisations including Sea Shephard Conservation and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the latter being found to have given his father and the “Rodney Coronado Support Committee” over $70,000 as a tax-exempt ‘grant’ in 1994.
Coronado reflects on his past in the interview, stating “I won’t sugarcoat it; we were about psychological warfare”
Now 50 years old, Coronado heads a non-profit conservation group called the Great Lakes Wolf Patrol. He says that he is speaking out “as a father” to deter the younger generation from following in his footsteps.
“Changing attitudes is done with communication,” he told Lansing State. “Our efforts are damaged when you push someone against a wall and antagonise with direct action.”
Despite this change of heart, Coronado maintains that he does not regret his past actions and if he could get away with it, he would still release every single mink from its cage at MSU.