Press Releases

Smoke grenades detonated in Seattle, hundreds evacuated

The Associated Press
Friday July 12, 2002

SEATTLE — Hundreds of office workers were evacuated after military-style smoke grenades were detonated at two buildings, and police said animal rights activists might be responsible. 

The smoke bombings Wednesday, set off two minutes apart at the Financial Center and another downtown building, have been tentatively classified as acts of domestic terrorism, Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said. 

Police said the devices appeared to be aimed at two subsidiaries of Marsh & McLennan Cos., an insurance firm that does business with British-based Huntingdon Life Sciences, which has been targeted by groups that oppose animal testing. 

No injuries or damage were reported. About 700 people were evacuated at the Financial Center, along with workers on two floors of the second smoke-bombed building. 

A spokesman for Marsh & McLennan Cos. would not comment late Wednesday. The two subsidiaries that are believed to be targets are Seabury & Smith and Guy Carpenter & Co. 

A spokesman for Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty denied any role, but acknowledged Marsh has been a previous target. 

“We do run a campaign against them,” said volunteer Frank Hampton at the organization’s office in Franklin Township, N.J. “We’re just not the ones responsible for this incident. We certainly support these actions as long as they are nonviolent in nature.”