- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The FBI said Tuesday that it named an animal rights activist as the first domestic terror suspect on its Most Wanted Terrorists list because the probe had “basically come to a dead end.”

But House Republicans noted that the designation of a left-wing terrorist came just a week after firestorm over a report on “right-wing extremism” that listed veterans as potential threats and defined “right-wing extremism” as including opponents of abortion and immigration.

Daniel Andreas San Diego, a 31-year-old animal rights activist, is under indictment in the 2003 bombings of two San Francisco Bay Area companies linked to an animal-testing laboratory. His designation was first reported Monday by The Washington Times.

“Basically, we have no idea where he is,” Michael Heimbach, assistant director of the bureau’s counterterrorism division, said during a news conference Tuesday announcing the addition. “The leads on him have gone stale.”

The FBI is hoping to find San Diego with the help of the publicity generated by adding him to the list, which also features such notorious international terrorists as Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahri and Adam Gadahn, the American-born al Qaeda spokesman. Before the addition of San Diego, the list, created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, had previously included only Islamic terrorists.

The bureau also announced an award of up to $250,000 for information leading to the arrest of San Diego.

“All of the people listed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List are a danger to the U.S. and need to be caught,” Special Agent Richard Kolko said.

The announcement was made nearly a week after The Times reported on a Homeland Security Department assessment warning that war veterans could be susceptible to recruitment into “right-wing extremism.” The report unleashed a firestorm of controversy and led to an apology to veterans from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

FBI officials said the process to put San Diego on the most-wanted list had begun more than a year ago, but two Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee noted the juxtaposition to the recent controversy and questioned the Obama administration’s priorities.

“I find it amazing that in a mere three months, the Obama administration is focusing its attention and our national resources on an animal rights activist - whose crimes were committed in 2003 - instead of radical Islamic terrorism, narcotics traffickers” and others, said Rep. Mark Souder, Indiana Republican. “Soon, perhaps, the administration can tackle their larger concern about Ron Paul supporters, pro-life activists and veterans.”

Rep. Pete Olson, Texas Republican, noted than “people like [San Diego] belong on this list, not because he is a far-left radical, but because he has and will put American lives in danger. This is a stark contrast to my fellow veterans who have come under unwarranted scrutiny by this administration for their unwavering patriotism. They have fought for our freedom and kept us safe, but are now considered a threat along with San Diego.”

Mr. Heimbach said animal rights and environmental extremists such as San Diego have collectively committed more than 1,800 crimes and caused more than $110 million in damages. He said the FBI is currently investigating about 170 incidents of animal rights or environmental extremism.

Authorities said such attacks typically target property, but that is what may set San Diego apart. San Diego planted two bombs during one of the attacks; the second set to detonate after the first.

“It is possible that this device was planted to target first responders,” Mr. Heimbach said.

No one was killed or injured in either early-morning attack, but the explosions damaged the corporate offices of two biotechnology companies, Chiron Life Sciences Center in Emeryville, Calif., and Shaklee Corp. in Pleasanton, Calif.

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