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April 21, 2009

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FBI adds U.S. fugitive Daniel Andreas San Diego to Most Wanted Terrorists list

Today the FBI announced the addition of animal rights extremist Daniel Andreas San Diego to the Most Wanted Terrorists list. Mr. San Diego is wanted in connection with two animal rights-related bombings in Northern California in 2003. He eluded capture and has been on the run ever since. Mr. San Diego is only the second United States citizen, and the only domestic terrorist, to appear on the Most Wanted Terrorists list.

Mr. San Diego, the son of retired Belvedere City Manager Edmund San Diego and his wife Heike, grew up in San Rafael, California. He graduated from Terra Linda High School in San Rafael and briefly attended Los Medanos College in Brentwood, California. After losing his job at a high tech firm in February 2003, he attempted to launch a vegan bakery in Schellville, California, but the business never got off the ground. He professed to be active in the animal rights movement, and expressed extreme views advocating the use of violence to achieve the goals of the movement.

On August 28, 2003, Mr. San Diego put his views into practice when he allegedly planted two bombs at the offices of Chiron, Incorporated in Emeryville, California. The first bomb detonated early in the morning, but the second bomb—set to detonate an hour after the initial blast and likely intended to kill or injure first responders—was located and the area was cleared before it went off. Less than a month later, on September 26, 2003, San Diego allegedly planted another bomb at a Pleasanton, California, company. This device was wrapped in nails to cause more substantial injuries to anyone within range of the shrapnel. Although no one was injured in either case, the construction, placement, and timing of the devices indicated Mr. San Diego intended to cause serious injury or death.

A federal arrest warrant based on a criminal complaint was issued for his arrest on October 5, 2003, but he disappeared before he could be taken into custody. In 2004 a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Mr. San Diego with two counts of destroying or attempting to destroy property with explosives (18 U.S.C. § 844(i)) and two counts of use of a destructive device in a crime of violence (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)). In January 2006, the FBI offered a $250,000 reward for information leading directly to the arrest of San Diego, but he remains a fugitive today.

Placing Daniel Andreas San Diego on the Most Wanted Terrorist list signifies the seriousness with which law enforcement takes acts of domestic terror. The FBI believes Mr. San Diego’s actions have set an example to other extremists in the animal rights movement. In fact, in August 2008 individuals espousing similar beliefs set off two fire bombs in Santa Cruz, California. Although some in the animal rights movement have characterized these acts of violence as mere property crimes, firebombing occupied homes and detonating explosive devices in public areas to further political or social causes are, by definition, acts of terrorism.

“As a society we cannot sit idly by and allow violence to become an acceptable solution for social and political problems,” said Special Agent in Charge Charlene B. Thornton of the FBI’s San Francisco office. “Mr. San Diego and those like him are every bit as great a threat to the peace and security of the United States as any foreign terrorist.”

At the time of his flight Mr. San Diego was a committed vegan. If he has maintained this discipline, people around him may notice that he avoids consuming or wearing anything made with animal products. And although he may have altered his appearance in some way, Mr. San Diego has several distinctive tattoos on his body. Because of the unique nature of the tattoos on his chest, stomach, and back, he may be obviously reluctant to remove his shirt, even in situations where it is the norm.

Due to the sensitivity of explosive materials, individuals engaged in the unlawful manufacture and storage of explosives pose a particular risk to themselves and the public. Accidental detonations with disastrous consequences are common among bomb makers.

San Diego is a known extremist with ties to animal rights groups. He wears eye glasses, travels internationally, and possesses a 9mm handgun. He is described as follows:

Date of Birth: February 9, 1978
Place of Birth: Berkeley, CA
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 160 lbs
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Sex: Male
Race: White

Daniel Andreas San Diego should be considered armed and dangerous. If you have information concerning his whereabouts, please do not take any independent action, but rather immediately notify local law enforcement or the FBI. Mr. San Diego’s Most Wanted Terrorists poster can be viewed at http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/tersandiego_da.htm.


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