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ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP UNDER FBI SCRUTINY

The FBI is investigating claims by the radical Animal Liberation Front that some of its members had committed crimes against a pharmaceutical company -- all aimed at pressuring the company to sever ties with a British firm it says mistreats animals during drug testing.

The probe, involving a series of possible federal crimes by the underground organization, was confirmed Thursday by FBI spokesman James Margolin.

Margolin said the investigation would examine a number of incidents over the past year that ALF claims its members committed against Forest Laboratories and some of its executives.

Forest Laboratories is a Manhattan-based company with facilities in several Long Island communities. Forest, which has 3,000 employees, specializes in medicines for depression, anxiety, Alzheimer's and hypertension.

ALF wants Forest to end ties with the British firm Huntingdon Life Sciences, which it says kills animals in testing. Huntingdon has said in the past it does not violate any laws in its experiments.

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