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FBI offers reward for leads in attacks on reproductive health facilities

The FBI is renewing a request for information and offered a cash reward Thursday in relation to arson cases at reproductive health facilities in eight states, including the Wisconsin Family Action executive office, which was targeted in May. Photo courtesy of the FBI
1 of 5 | The FBI is renewing a request for information and offered a cash reward Thursday in relation to arson cases at reproductive health facilities in eight states, including the Wisconsin Family Action executive office, which was targeted in May. Photo courtesy of the FBI

Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The FBI issued a renewed request Thursday for the public's help in its investigation of a series of arsons at reproductive-health facilities in eight states.

The 10 cases date to March 2022, and the FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information in each case, the bureau said.

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Several of the attacks involved throwing Molotov cocktails at the buildings. Many also included messages delivered in spray paint.

"IF ABORTION AINT SAFE NEITHER RU JR," someone painted on the Child Education Center in Portland, Ore., in July.

Three of the attacks took place in Oregon. The FBI is looking into single cases in neighboring Washington and California, as well as Colorado, Wisconsin, North Carolina, New York and Tennessee.

A similar "Bans off our bodies" message was painted outside a clinic in Longmont, Colo., in June.

Damage ranged from minor vandalism to near destruction in the case of the Pregnancy Resource Center in Gresham, Ore. In June, suspects broke a window before throwing Molotov cocktails into the building's kitchen, starting a major fire.

Under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, the agency has the ability to investigate the cases as acts of domestic violent extremism.

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A conviction on a charge of destruction by means of a fire or explosive carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also looking into several of the cases, as are various local police departments.

Investigators have released surveillance photos with varying degrees of clarity in the Tennessee, New York, North Carolina and California cases, although attackers appear to have obscured their faces.

"Today's announcement reflects the FBI's commitment to vigorously pursue investigations into crimes against pregnancy resource centers, faith-based organizations and reproductive health clinics across the country," FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.

"We will continue to work closely with our national, state and local law enforcement partners to hold responsible anyone who uses extremist views to justify their criminal actions."

In August, Wray confirmed the agency was opening several abortion-related investigations into incidents of violent crime.

In June, the Department of Homeland Security warned of the potential for increased violence in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling striking down federal abortion rights.

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