Animal rights activists becomes latest addition to ‘Most Wanted’ suspects
April 21, 2009
WASHINGTON ” A fugitive animal rights activist charged with bombing two California offices has become the first domestic terrorist named to the FBI’s list of “Most Wanted” terror suspects.
Daniel Andreas San Diego, a 31-year-old computer specialist from Berkeley, Calif., is wanted for the 2003 bombings of two corporate offices in California.
Authorities say San Diego has unusual tattoos, including one that shows a burning field and proclaims, “It only takes a spark.”
FBI Assistant Director Michael Heimbach announced San Diego’s addition to its “Most Wanted” terrorists list at a press conference Tuesday.
In its global search for the suspect, Heimbach said the FBI has spoken to officials in Germany, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, France, Spain Denmark, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Argentina, the Philippines, and Chile.
He has ties to Germany, and may be living in Costa Rica, officials said.
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“The leads have gone stale on us, so now we’re seeking the public’s awareness,” said Heimbach.
San Diego is the 24th person on the bureau’s wanted terrorist list, and the only domestic terror suspect.
The move to add a domestic, left-wing terrorist to the list comes only days after the Obama administration was criticized for internal reports suggesting some military veterans could be susceptible to right-wing extremist recruiters or commit lone acts of violence. That prompted angry reactions from some lawmakers and veterans groups.
An arrest warrant was issued for San Diego after the 2003 bombings in northern California of the corporate offices of Chiron Corp., a biotechnology firm, and at Shaklee Corp., a nutrition and cosmetics company. The explosions caused minor damages and no injuries.
A group calling itself “Revolutionary Cells” took responsibility for the blasts, telling followers in a series of e-mails that Chiron and Shaklee had been targeted for their ties to a research company that conducted drug and chemical experiments on animals.
Officials have offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to his capture, five times the reward amounts offered for other so-called eco-terrorists wanted in the U.S.
The FBI says animal rights and environmental extremists have been responsible for over 1,800 criminal acts and more than $110 million in damages. Currently, the bureau is investigating 170 animal rights or environmental extremism incidents.
Law enforcement officials describe San Diego as a strict vegan who possesses a 9mm handgun. On his abdomen, he has tattoo images of burning and collapsing buildings.
The FBI’s “Most Wanted” terrorist list is distinct from the much longer-running “Ten Most Wanted” list. Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden is on both.
There is another American already on the terrorist list, but he is wanted for his work overseas for al-Qaida. Adam Yahiye Gadahn grew up in California but moved to Pakistan and works as a translator and consultant to al-Qaida.