FBI insists Pleasanton bomber will be caught | December 20, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - December 20, 2013

FBI insists Pleasanton bomber will be caught

Disappeared in 2003, but numerous sightings abroad

An FBI expert on criminal behavior said Monday that an animal rights activist accused of planting bombs in Emeryville and Pleasanton in 2003 is likely living overseas but it is "inevitable" he will be caught.

The suspect, Daniel Andreas San Diego, 35, formerly of San Rafael, has been in hiding for a decade and sightings of him have come from as far away as France and Spain, FBI special agent Ronald Tunkel said.

"He's been on the lam for quite a while now and the world is getting smaller," said Tunkel, a criminal behavior analyst for the FBI, during phone interview with reporters Monday from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.

"It's harder to be anonymous and hide in this world," Tunkel said.

Tunkel said that the tools the FBI and other investigators have of finding people are more sophisticated than when San Diego disappeared in 2003 and combined with the suspect's stress in living on the lam for the past 10 years, "it's inevitable he will be caught."

San Diego, who was born in Berkeley and grew up in Marin County, is suspected of planting two timed bombs that exploded one hour apart on Aug. 28, 2003 at the Chiron Corp, a biotechnology firm in Emeryville, according to the FBI.

The second bomb may have been intended to injure first responders to the initial explosion, but no one was injured, San Francisco-based FBI media representative Peter Lee said.

San Diego is also suspected of making a bomb, with a timer and nails strapped to it, that blew up on Sept. 26, 2003, at the Shaklee Corp., a nutritional products company in Pleasanton, but did not injure anyone, the FBI said.

The suspect was last seen in the Bay Area in October 2003, according to Lee.

He was indicted on felony charges in the bombings in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in July 2004 and the FBI is offering a reward of $250,000 for his capture, the FBI said.

The motive in both bombings appears tied to his association with animal rights extremist groups that targeted the two companies claiming they conducted cruel experiments on animals, according to FBI officials.

San Diego's adoption of activism against companies that used animals in experiments may have stemmed from his disgust while witnessing the killing and cleaning of a turkey when he was a teenager in San Rafael, Tunkel said.

San Diego was so much against any form of cruelty to animals that he "adopted a vegan lifestyle" and once refused to eat marshmallows because he said they contained animal products, according to Tunkel.

"He's a fascinating character," Tunkel said. "He's a true believer."

--Bay City News


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