The man that's been on the run since 2003 and could have been secretly living in Western Mass is no longer in Northampton, according to an FBI official. The focus of their investigation has now shifted to another location where the alleged terrorist could be living in secret.
The holidays are here in Northampton. Lights are hung in storefronts with care, packages are in place, festive trees line the sidewalk and residents are enjoying the atmosphere now, knowing a wanted terrorist is no longer calling their city home.
"I wasn't surprised to hear that he probably left town," says resident Joe Blotnick. "I was walking down the sidewalk and I looked at the newspaper rack and the headline was talking about the FBI looking for him."
That was on Nov. 16. The man still running from the law is Daniel Andreas San Diego. Since 2003, law enforcement officers have been hunting world-wide for San Diego. They say he is responsible for two bombings in the San Francisco area that targeted animal experimentation facilities. At a press conference last month, FBI officials announced credible tips pointing them to Northampton where San Diego could have been living. But now, they say, his location has changed.
"I suppose it's a fun place to hide out. There's a lot going on. There's a lot of people on the street. It might be a place to mix in," Mark Donovan says about calling Northampton a hideout home.
Allison Wilderspin has lived in Northampton for five years and agrees.
"It doesn't surprise me," she says. "It's a pretty liberal area, and there's a lot of crazy people in town."
After news about San Diego hit local headlines, the FBI says many more tips came in. Now officials won't say where they're looking for San Diego, but they say he probably won't be ringing in the new year here in Northampton.
"Everything's back to normal," Blotnick says.
The FBI does want to thank the response from the public for all of the tips that came in regarding San Diego's stay in Northampton. Investigators are following leads and welcome any new information.
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