Fed by ignorance, hypocrisy and frustration, members of an international group of eco-anarchist have, during the past few years, plotted and attacked various scientific facilities and scientists alike, injuring many in their attempts and seeding fear, in an anti-technology and science ploy. The violent attacks were self-attributed by the various organisations working in close tandem, which are always sure to attach a letter of some sort describing their motivations in anti-science rhetoric, which along the lines reads as: “science and technology has slaved us and is pushing towards our imminent destruction, and we need to be liberated.”

In an editorial for Nature, high-energy particle physicists Gerardo Herrera Corra details how he dodged an attack from behalf of the organisation, and how his brother  Armando Herrera Corral, director of the technology park at the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico, along with friend and colleague Alejandro Aceves López, opened a package which contained a trigger bomb, masked as a an award for his personal attention. Luckily no one was killed, although both sustained serious injuries and burns.

The extremist eco-terrorist organization, is called Individuals Tending to Savagery (ITS), have claimed responsibility for the attacks in Mexico, threatening more attacks of the likes will follow. According to the organization, their main targets are nano­technology and computer scientists, since “nanotechnology will lead to the downfall of mankind, and predicts that the world will become dominated by self-aware artificial-intelligence technology.” The organization is seeking attention and to inflict terror among scientific institutions. “If this does not get to the newspapers we will produce more explosions. Wounding or killing teachers and students does not matter to us.”

Only last week, in Bristol, another group, which goes by the name of Informal Anarchist Federation, claimed responsibility for two attacks on railway signalling which caused severe delays and the cancellation of services to disrupt employees of the Ministry of Defense. The same organization has claimed responsibility for the non-fatal shooting of a nuclear-engineering executive on 7 May in Genoa, Italy. The same group has sent death threats to a Swiss pro-nuclear lobby group in 2011 and attempted to bomb one of the world’s leading research facilities, IBM’s nanotechnology laboratory in Switzerland in 2010. The IAF is in close relations with the ITS.

The man shot was  Roberto Adinolfi, the chief executive of Ansaldo Nucleare, the nuclear-engineering subsidiary of aerospace and defence giant Finmeccanica. Shortly after the violent event, a four page manifesto was sent for publishing to the Italian newspaper  Corriere della Sera. Among other things, it reads Adinolfi is a “sorcerer of the atom”, it wrote. “Adinolfi knows well that it is only a matter of time before a European Fukushima kills on our continent.”

“Science in centuries past promised us a golden age, but it is pushing us towards self-destruction and total slavery,” the letter continues. “With this action of ours, we return to you a tiny part of the suffering that you, man of science, are pouring into this world.” The group also threatened to carry out further attacks.

The cell says that it is uniting with eco-anarchist groups in other countries, including Mexico, Chile, Greece and the United Kingdom, which I find very curious. Obviously, these organizations are closely networking with one another, and something tells me that it’s not through smoke signals. Something also tends to make me believe that the members of these organizations don’t grow their own food, or ride horses, live in caves or even believe the world is flat. They appreciate science in many respects, albeit at an unconscious level, and for one they love science for teaching them how to build bombs. Again, hypocrisy in tandem with deep and utter ignorance, fueled by personal, petty frustrations.

In the wake of these attacks most major scientific institutions have significantly stepped out their security, and in Italy, where the must blunted attacks were carried out, the Ministry of the Interior has assigned bodyguards for 550 key scientific personalities.

I’d like to paraphrase Dr.  Gerardo Herrera Corra, which perfectly explains why these anarchist attacks are so fundamentally poorly directed, besides anti-humanitarian to begin with.

“To oppose technology is not an unacceptable way to think. We may well debate the desirability of further technical development in our society. Yet radical groups such as the ITS overlook a crucial detail: it is not technology that is the problem, but how we use it. After Alfred Nobel invented dynamite he became a rich man, because it found use in mining, quarrying, construction and demolition. But people can also decide to put dynamite into a parcel and address it to somebody with the intention of killing them. “