Wisconsin attack on pro-life group: no arrests or suspects; Molotov cocktails used
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Authorities in Madison, Wisconsin, say no arrests have been made in connection with the weekend arson attack on the office of a prominent abortion opposition party.
Madison Police Chief Sean Burns said investigators had collected “multiple” pieces of evidence from the scene of the Wisconsin Family Action attack and returned the items to federal authorities. He said two Molotov cocktails involved in the attack were also found.
“As much as we want to be able to resolve this case today, the forensic process will definitely take time,” he said during an update of the investigation on Monday. “While we wait, we’re combing the area and searching for digital evidence.”
Wisconsin anti-abortion group targets Molotov cocktail fire
Authorities said the attack took place around 8am on Sunday. Burns said a pedestrian on the way to the airport saw flames from the office building. The fire was extinguished within five minutes.
Julian Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, previously told Gadget Clock that two windows were smashed inside the group’s office and Molotov cocktails were thrown, including an explosion that burned furniture and books inside the office and smashed glass around the house.
No one was working when the fire broke out.
On an exterior wall, a message left in spray paint read: “If abortion isn’t safe, neither are you.” Appleing said what was not seen in the initial photos and videos from the scene was a symbol of anarchy and another wall tagged with the number 1312, meaning to stand for the phrase, “All police b ———.”
Madison police said a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the Wisconsin Family Action Office but failed to burn. They said the fire was set later.
The attack comes days after a draft Supreme Court opinion was leaked, saying the court could soon overturn Landmark Rowe v. Wade’s decision, which legalized abortion nationwide.
“We’re looking at it from a lens, it’s a First Amendment protected right,” said Robert Payne, assistant special agent in charge, FBI, Milwaukee. “People have their say. And when we violate it, and we use criminal activity or violence in that nature, the FBI and our federal authorities will look into it for all federal law to investigate.”
Daniel Wallace of Gadget Clock contributed to this report.
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