- (Photo: AP / Charlie Riedel)
A pro-life group's national headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, was attacked on Friday by an unidentified suspect who remains at large.
Operation Rescue filed a report with the police after a man on a bicycle attempted to disable the office's security system.
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, was among four people who were working at the office at the time. He reported hearing noise outside the office in the afternoon and caught the suspect through the security cameras attempting to gain access to the roof.
When Newman confronted the man outside, the suspect tried to attack, threw his bicycle at Newman and then fled, taking one security camera with him.
"In light of the recent events, the targeting of our security system is troubling," Newman said in a statement Saturday.
Pro-life groups have been fearful of a backlash in the aftermath of the murder of late-term abortion provider George Tiller. Although the accused killer, Scott Roeder, is not tied to any pro-life groups, he was a staunch anti-abortionist. And abortion supporters have blamed the rhetoric of conservative groups for fueling the violence.
Operation Rescue released on Thursday audio recordings and e-mails it received containing death threats, one of which says it's "time to start killing Bible-thumping morons." The Wichita-based group recently asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the threats.
Newman, however, believes the federal and local police officials are less responsive to their appeals than that of abortion providers.
"We can't help but think that if this attack happened to an abortion clinic, there would be federal marshals patrolling and investigating," he said. "The police seemed apathetic. It's almost as if pro-lifers are second-class citizens."
No one was injured in Friday's attempted attack. But Operation Rescue believes it was a premeditated act and not a random one. They found pliers on the suspect's bike, which remains at the pro-life group's office.
Operation Rescue is a pro-life Christian activist organization that moved its headquarters from Southern California to Wichita to campaign against the abortion industry there. Their efforts were largely focused on Tiller's abortion clinic where late-term abortions were taking place.
Tiller was one of the few late-term abortion practitioners in the country. He was shot dead on May 31 during a Sunday service at his Lutheran church in Wichita. Pro-life leaders, including Newman, have strongly denounced his murder.
Newman is currently considering purchasing Tiller's clinic, which was permanently closed by Tiller's family members earlier this month, and possibly turning it into a memorial museum for babies.