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Three arrests in animal rights extremism inquiry

Three people have been arrested in Amsterdam and London as part of a Europe-wide inquiry into blackmail linked to animal rights extremism.

A woman, 50, was held in Croydon, south London, on suspicion of conspiracy to blackmail following her arrest by counter terrorism officers, police say.

A man and a woman, both aged 25, were also arrested at a residential address in the Netherlands.

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LONDON (AP) -- Three suspected animal rights extremists were arrested Friday in joint raids in London and the Netherlands following a Europe-wide inquiry into the alleged blackmail of targets in Britain.

Police said a 25-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man were detained at a home in Amsterdam by the Dutch National Crime Squad, while Britain's Scotland Yard arrested a 50-year-old woman Friday at a home in Croydon, south London.
"The three arrests mark a significant development in a long-running, proactive investigation into alleged criminal activity across Europe," Scotland Yard said in a statement.

In 2009, seven members of an animal rights group called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty were jailed for blackmailing the Cambridge, England-based Huntingdon Life Sciences, which conducts animal testing for the pharmaceutical industry. Five other activists were jailed in 2010 over threats and vandalism made against the company.

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