FBI Places Alleged ARA Terrorist on Most Wanted List

Apr 21 2009 Published by under Animals in Research, General Politics

The FBI placed Daniel Andreas San Diego on it's Most Wanted list of terrorists. He is apparently the first domestic terrorist to be added to a list which mostly contains international figures. The news release from the FBI:

"We have added San Diego to the Most Wanted Terrorists list to increase public awareness about this domestic terrorist fugitive and to aid in his arrest," said Michael J. Heimbach, Assistant Director of our Counterterrorism Division, at a press conference today at FBI Headquarters in Washington. "We will not relent until San Diego is apprehended and his potential for future acts of violence and destruction is eliminated."
Animal rights and environmental extremism pose a significant domestic terror threat. To date, extremists have been responsible for more than 1,800 criminal acts and more than $110 million in damages. Currently, we are investigating approximately 170 such extremist incidents across the country.

San Diego was initially identified as a suspect after being stopped by a local police officer for a minor traffic violation in Pleasanton about an hour before the Pleasanton bombing. A subsequent search of his home and vehicle revealed bomb-making materials similar to those used in both attacks, and he was later indicted for the crimes.
San Diego has been on the run since October 2003. He is six feet tall, weighs about 160 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. He wears glasses, is known to carry a 9mm handgun, has traveled internationally, and may be living out of the country, possibly in Costa Rica. He is a vegan, and avoids consuming or wearing anything made with animal products. He also has distinctive tattoos--one on his chest is round and shows burning hills and plains with the words "It only takes a spark."

Nice guy. An agent involved with the manhunt notes:

"The second bomb actually was wrapped in nails, and we believe it was intended to harm or kill the first responders."


This is a great and very welcome step in the PR game with respect to Animal Rights Activist wackanut terrorism. After all, placing on the Most Wanted list...does that really change how hard the US and international authorities are looking? What it most certainly does do is raise the public recognition and understanding of Animal Rights terrorism, who these people really are and what is being supported when they send their money to PETA and the HSUS (which is not your local Humane Society, as much as they'd like you to think that they are). Perhaps it can open the eyes of celebrities who support, perhaps unknowingly, these Luddite, anti-science, fringe element activities.
The important thing is the setting of priority. These acts, like the March 2009 bombing of neuroscientist J. David Jentsch's car, are fundamental crimes against our rule of law as well as being a specific attack on scientific progress and the development of life-saving medical advances.
With this announcement, and all of the publicity and news surrounding the UCLA Pro-Test rally in support of animal research scheduled for tomorrow...well, at the very least the wind has been taken out of the ARA sails during one of their big PR weeks.

15 responses so far

  • S. Rivlin says:

    Many Americans, who are also pet lovers and owners, probably would benefit much more from information about PETA's real record than from putting San Diego on the most wanted list.
    Here's an example:
    http://www.consumerfreedom.com/pressRelease_detail.cfm/release/258

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Perhaps Sol. But that sort of thing doesn't get on the network news, nor picked up by the larger newspapers. Most Wanted does

  • Paul Browne says:

    When I first heard about this I thought the FBI might be over reacting, but having seen the details I can understand their desire to get hold of this dangerous nut.
    All the more reason to join the Pro-Test rally tomorrow!

  • Eric says:

    Your link regarding HSUS comes from ActivistCash.com, run by the Center for Consumer Freedom. This looks like an organization with a serious axe to grind, so I'm hesitant to take their word about anything. Perhaps you could provide a link to a more objective source to make your point?

  • JC says:

    The HSUS adheres to a strictly nonviolent mission. The link provided earlier is from the front group CCF. Check out the real deal here. http://www.hsus.org/about_us/statements/statement_nonviolence_mission_121108.html

  • JThompson says:

    Hope they catch the bastard and make an example out of him. That said...
    I'll grant you an awful lot of people would probably withdraw their support from PETA if they knew what they stood for.
    Also that anyone that uses violence to make a point loses any moral high ground they might've had and should be hunted down. (Not that they had any moral high ground to begin with. They didn't.)
    Being wrong isn't a crime. Neither is obstructing progress.
    Obstructing progress just makes them idiots.
    Linking to the same people that fought tooth and nail to prove to us smoking doesn't cause cancer and nothing but meat is a damned healthy diet isn't exactly solid evidence HSUS is a terrorist organization
    "OH EM GEE one of the guys that works for them was once a part of a group that might've had terrorists!" doesn't either.
    Thus far the case against HSUS is pretty much "They hate us for our freedom." and "Pallin around with terrorists."
    Sure they're wrong and they're idiots. But we shouldn't lump the peaceful idiots in with the violent ones.

  • Cleveland says:

    Whether organizations have "an axe to grind" or not, are the accusations true? That is the question. That is always the question.
    This site have an axe to grind?
    http://johngoodwinexposed.blogspot.com/2008/09/alf-terrorist-john-goodwin-hsus.html
    How about the dog lovers? Axe to grind?
    http://www.agilityability.com/hsus.htm
    Of course when it comes to covert payments to terrorists, one will never know. The documentation regarding rates of adopting out stray pet animals versus euthanizing them in Peta "shelter" activities can be verified, of course. And the press coverage of the Peta dog-dumping was broad enough to combat any accusation of bias.
    But still, you have a diversity of voices which criticize the activities of PETALF/HSUS and their ilk. Many of them have different bits of supporting documentation, different rationales and slightly different specific critiques, sure. But what, it is all just a giant conspiracy and a lie? the same lie? or does it all point to the same truth which is that HSUS and PETA are actually engaged in the activities of which they are suspected, namely shoveling donated dollars to the benefit of actual terrorists, including their legal defenses and attempts to keep new legal tools to prevent terrorism off the books?

  • Hap says:

    I don't know HSUS's activities or intentions very well - but the combination of media blitz tactics with a name seemingly designed to invoke confusion with and profit from the reputations of local humane societies (and, likely, at their expense, since money that goes to HSUS can't be given to local humane societies instead) does not lend me to trust them very much. It reeks of dishonesty - honest people with good intents shouldn't have to fool others into giving them money, and the (apparent) intent to do so leads me to mistrust them. (They could also be stupid - but if stupid allows them to profit, then it's probably not stupid. The only way to stop people from being stupid is to make it not pay for them to do so.)
    Being biased doesn't make a source untrustworthy, but the last few years have seen an awful lot of people/groups willing to ignore inconvenient facts to support their actions and desires. In the absence of primary sources, their word alone is not good enough. Besides, if HSUS can be connected to groups supporting/facilitating violent acts in support of animal rights, wouldn't that be sufficient to damn them? Using invective as a rhetorical tactic is a sign of weakness, particuarly when the facts required to back the invective will speak loudly enough to require none.

  • JThompson says:

    @Cleveland: Well, since it's an anonymous blog that's about how much that guy sucks, I'd guess they have an axe to grind.
    As for the other one: They're quoting the CCS. Good for them. All the other websites that make a similar claim about Goodwin are also just quoting the CCS.
    I didn't say the HSUS are good people. I certainly don't support them. Hell I don't even like them. "They're supporting terrorists!" is a pretty nasty thing to level at someone without a lot of proof to back it up.
    When I went looking for proof I was actually looking for proof to support Drugmonkey's point. I didn't especially doubt they were supporting crazies. In fact I think they probably are. The problem is the only people that seem to have any "proof" are quoting extremely dubious sources.
    My point was "Don't level the accusation of supporting terrorists at someone without some sound evidence to support your claim.".
    It just wasn't a well made point.
    I do hope it's a point that can be understood, especially on Scienceblogs.
    @Hap: I agree, they seem pretty shady and I wish they weren't intentionally diverting money away from humane societies that would do some actual good with it.
    They're only connected to the groups in the "Palling around with terrorists" kind of way. At least in public.

  • Ktesibios says:

    You might try this Google search to see what's been said about HSUS here on Scienceblogs.
    BTW, a fact is a fact irrespective of who points it out.

  • Mike says:

    The HSUS has publicly and repeatedly condemned activists who engage in illegal and violent activities, and even offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of these individuals:
    http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releases/hsus_offers_reward_in_ca_arsons_080408.html

  • Paul Browne says:

    I have to say that I'm no fan of CCF. They're good at digging the dirt on some of the AR groups, and from time to time have made quite interesting and well attested discoveries about the more oddball groups such as PCRM and the more extreme groups such as the ALF etc. In the end though I dislike their faux-libertarian agenda almost as much as that of the AR crowd, I would certainly disagree with them on farm animal welfare, tobacco and junk food advertising.
    My advice would be to handle anything they publish with care.
    I'm with JTompson on HSUS, I disagree with them on a lot of issues and can't claim to trust them completely but to say that they are the same as PeTA, still less the same as Vlasak and co., is pushing the argument to far. They are about the only AR group that scientists can have discussions with without it necessarily becoming one long debunking session (having said that they do tend to use the creative video editing that all AR groups seem to love so much) , and perhaps even agree with from time to time on particular issues.
    My worry is that by lumping them all in together we would seem to be resorting to ad hom arguments. We should stand up to the terrorists but also be willing to debate those on the other side who make it clear that they are against violence. That's why David Jentsch refused to debate Jerry Vlasak while agreeing to debate the equally wrong Ray Greek.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Paul, although you have a point, don't forget to turn it on your own analysis. Don't let your disagreement with flagrant corporate agenda color your interpretation of the elements that are factual. HSUS seems fairly clearly to hire people who are ALFies and people who issue standard fare approval of violent acts like ship sinking. What about the check to DASD? Was that fabricated?
    Sorry but I am disinclined to trust supposed conversions of violent types to new ways without extraordinary evidence. Supposedly disapproving position statements are meaningless, other than for PR cover. Remember, even the most virulent public advocates of violent acts against researchers cover their provocation under "thought experiment" and deny direct responsibility.
    Their disingenuous fund-raising techniques also need to be considered. It speaks very directly to their honesty and their understanding of the real support out their for their real goals (and here I am talking about the face, admitted goals, not any suspicion of felonious behavior).

  • becca says:

    "HSUS seems fairly clearly to hire people who are ALFies and people who issue standard fare approval of violent acts like ship sinking. What about the check to DASD? Was that fabricated?"
    In fairness, it hires people who were ALFies; they seem to keep their employees officially touting the party line about nonviolence while they are working for HSUS. Which could, of course, be empty rhetoric, or could be reflective of an actual change of heart (I could certainly imagine that getting hired by a big overly-corporate 'charity' as a "legislative affairs staffer" might make someone feel empowered enough to tackle their issue through more socially acceptable channels than arson).
    Without more details on the check, I'd say it's pretty shady, but not actual evidence of a real connection (for all we know, it could have been for $14.55 in compensation for covering her pancakes at Denny's during a rolicking night of canasta rather than a multi-thousand dollar check with "for explosives" in the memo). I'm afraid it falls under the "pals around with terrorists" heading without more data.
    "Their disingenuous fund-raising techniques also need to be considered. It speaks very directly to their honesty and their understanding of the real support out their for their real goals (and here I am talking about the face, admitted goals, not any suspicion of felonious behavior)."
    Can we pretend to see things from their side, just for a minute?
    Is euthanasia of excess pet animals a humane action?* If not, are local human societies living up to their name? Even if they are, do the people supporting local humane societies all know that some of their money might be used for killing puppies?
    I still think it's incredibly shady to assume people donating money to a cause Really Want to donate to you instead, rather than who they think they're donating to. But I have little doubt it is rationalized that way.
    *Personally, I'm inclined to think that if you take the long view, it actually is humane to euthanize some animals**; but I'm willing to see how someone could disagree with that.
    **And even if it weren't humane; I know the Humane society doesn't exactly do this willingly and that they do very important work and I'm proud to support them. But that still doesn't mean HSUS has to like them.

  • Rogue Medic says:

    Good information. You provide an opportunity for people to post alternative points of view in the comments. Individuals can come to their own conclusions. Associates with terrorists is enough for me. The link to the way HSUS spends their money should scare anyone interested in donating to charity. This is not the kind of stewardship that charitable donations deserve.

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