The Cornwall National Liberation Army (CNLA) has claimed a disused Redruth brewery gutted by fire on Sunday was "a training camp for setting off incendiary devices", the Cornish Guardian reports.
The incident, which follows two similar fires at the site this year, comes hot on the heels of threats to target businesses belonging to celebrity chefs Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver who the organisation blames for "the inflation of house and other living costs at Cornish expense", and "alienating" local people.
The CNLA issued a "communication" to the Cornish Guardian before the fire which stated: "We have been shown the construction and use of incendiary devices. Our members have practised the use of these some time ago on the site of the old Redruth Brewery which lies in ruins.
"The fire brigade regrettably had to attend a small fire caused by the devices. We now have the knowledge to use them, although we would never intend to cause injury to people through their use."
The message also claimed responsibility for "recently attacking vehicles in Newquay which had road tax discs issued outside Cornwall". Local police, however, say they "have not had reports of tyres slashed or bodywork scratched".
Police are now probing the matter. They said: "We take very seriously any threats to commit criminal offences against individual, business, public service or the Crown and we will vigorously investigate any pre-meditated or publicised planned criminal activity.
"In any circumstances where specific threats are made, we will look to work with potential victims of crime. We have made immediate contact with proprietors of various businesses and are actively working together, with a view to ensure that appropriate crime prevention measures are maintained.''
The CNLA missive finally warned against underestimating its offensive capability. It declared: "People question our abilities but it is worth remembering that ETA in the Basque country only claim a military membership of 100. We cannot claim that, but our membership does exceed 20."
This has cut little ice with UK tabloid The Sun, which has dubbed the organisation the "Ooh-Arrr-A" and has an entertaining comparative guide to the international terrorist organisations currently menacing society here. ®